Bescot Banter: Walsall beginning to look like a team

Yet another week has gone by, so we're back with a look at the Super Saddlers...


After a slow start, which saw Matt Taylor's men fail to win any of their opening five games of the season, they've now gone four unbeaten, and are beginning to look like a team, rather than a group of individuals.

League victories over Stevenage and Mansfield Town, along with a midweek EFL Trophy triumph over Brighton's Under-21s, have seen the Saddlers win three of their last four in all competitions, and gives them a much-needed platform to build upon heading into the final two games of September.

Upcoming meetings with Newport County and Bristol Rovers will see the Saddlers take on two teams which have also endured a difficult start to the season and present a real opportunity to build a healthy gap over the relegation zone.

Saturday's opponents, Newport, are sitting a couple of places below us ahead of kick-off and arrive at the match after failing to win any of their last four league games, form we're all-too-familiar with.

Next weekend sees Joey Barton's Bristol Rovers visit the Banks's. The Pirates have lost four of their seven games heading into this round of fixtures and are in dire need of a return to winning ways, especially as October will see most teams play at least six games.

There is no doubt that the Saddlers and both of their next two opponents can ill afford another run of poor results. Even at this early stage of the season, points are crucial, and the Saddlers' recent return to form should provide plenty of confidence heading into matchday.

Looking back at last weekend's victory over Mansfield Town, the Saddlers entered a superb display, with George Miller's well-taken brace and Ash Taylor's headed goal being more than enough to dispatch with Nigel Clough's struggling Stags.

The only real negative to arise from the match was Mansfield's late goal, which saw substitute Danny Johnson deny Carl Rushworth a well-deserved clean sheet. Johnson slammed the ball home from close range, giving his side an undeserved consolation.

Carl, who was forced to sit out Tuesday's Trophy victory over his parent club, continues to perform when called upon and is without a doubt one of the better loan signings the club has made in recent years.

Another short-term Saddler to make the most of his time in WS1 is George Miller, even in this very early stage of his stay. The on-loan Barnsley man has netted two goals over his first three games and seems to be just what the team needed after struggling to trouble the opposition stoppers during the opening few weeks of the campaign.

When September's out of the way, the team head into a busy month of October with no less than seven games to be played - including five on the road. With that level of travel, along with the need to continue their recent run of form, the team will have to be at their best if they are to avoid undoing all the good work we've just waxed lyrical about.

Clearly, the manager and his team have really started to find their feet and, as momentum plays a huge part in the beautiful game, here's hoping they can continue to pick up results not only this weekend, but in the weeks and months ahead.

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