Saturday was frustrating in many ways. Both in terms of result and performance it wasn’t what any of us wanted.
The game provided us with a chance to go up against a side that we should be looking to emulate in this division, as Newport are always in and around the play-off places.
I think we can expect a little inconsistency given that we are still a new side, and we won’t see it all come together until after Christmas at the earliest.
The signing and immediate impact of George Miller has somewhat masked the fact that we are woefully short of options to change the game from the bench. Hopefully some of the trialists will cut the mustard and be able to step in, short-term at least.
This weekend gives us a great opportunity to bounce back against a Bristol Rovers team in turmoil.
They are bringing a sizeable following so if we can go out all guns blazing early in the game and get ahead, we can hopefully make it a toxic atmosphere for the opposition and play on the vulnerability of Joey Barton’s position.
We’ll just have to wait and see what side of the Saddlers coin turns up.
It’s difficult to analyse too much about this week. As disappointing as it was to lose, Newport is always going to be a hard place to get anything.
It also wasn’t a demolition or a total collapse from the team but instead a below-par performance at times coupled with some mistakes.
I really think a performance against Bristol Rovers alongside a positive result is needed just so the lads' heads don’t drop.
However, as long as morale stays high and we keep on a general upward trajectory, I don’t see any reason to panic as I think over time we will get to where we want to be, albeit not as quickly as any of us would really like.
Finally, that brings me to an early opinion of Matt Taylor.
There really is something about him that I like as a first-team coach. In my opinion, he will grow with the role and longer term I believe have us punching above our weight as a club.
That is as long as he buys into this being a long-term project and gets backed by the club.
How lucky are we to have Carl Rushworth? He really is a top keeper who will no doubt have a big career ahead of him.
The concerning thing is that we are consistently seeing him having to produce save after save, and keep us in games.
At the moment the defence isn't performing as well as it can. There is a bit of gelling to do, and Walsall must look at Saturday as a chance to do it.
Rovers are low on confidence, and struggling badly. A clean sheet and three points isn't unrealistic.
Can we finally see a Walsall team beating the teams below them? We shall see this weekend.
Inconsistency seems to be the name of the game for the Saddlers this season.
A great win against Mansfield that lifted the spirits of the fans, followed by a poor performance at Newport to bring us back to earth with a bang!
Saturday sees us take on a Bristol Rovers team that are struggling, and rumour has it that if they don’t get a result that will be the end of Barton as their manager.
This is a game we need to win, and should be winning. Let’s hope we turn up as we did for Mansfield rather than Newport.