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Leyton Orient v Walsall: Joss Labadie senses a turnaround in fortunes

It has been a mixed bag so far for him and the whole team, but Walsall skipper Joss Labadie feels they are on to something now.

Joss Labadie.
Joss Labadie.

On a personal front, Labadie had to endure the frustration of a three-match ban for a straight red card at Bradford City.

The Saddlers, too, have had an annoying tendency to concede goals from set plays while not converting enough chances – costing them points.

However, with a draw at Exeter followed up by a deserved 2-1 victory over Salford last weekend, Matt Taylor’s lot have built momentum.

Labadie enjoyed solid performances in both of those games as well, and he is confident heading into tomorrow’s clash with Leyton Orient.

“We started off the season a bit slow and didn’t get the results that maybe our performances warranted, but now, over the last two games, we’ve put in real good performances,” he said.

“Those were performances with a bit of character – coming from behind in both games.

“It just shows we’ve got the squad and with players coming back to fitness now, it’s having a positive impact on the team.

“We’ve got a philosophy in place, a way of playing, and the team seems to be taking shape.

“We’ve been rewarded with some positive results.

“We’ve always kept the faith and known what we’re capable of, and the fans have been patient with us too.

“Hopefully, we can reward them with some more performances and some more good results.”

Labadie’s return from suspension has coincided with Walsall’s improved outings against Exeter and Salford.

He believes he is starting to show supporters what he is truly about as well – wearing the armband and giving highly-committed displays in midfield.

“I’m enjoying every moment. The gaffer has given me the responsibility of being captain, which I’m relishing,” said Labadie.

“It was a bit unfortunate that my suspension was Saturday-Saturday-Saturday.

“Usually, there’d be a couple of midweek games and it would’ve been out of the way in a week.

“It wasn’t to be, but I was keeping fit and doing extra things.

“It’s good to be back among the lads on a matchday and feeling part of it again.”

As Walsall look for their first away victory of the campaign, they have no new injury worries.

Conor Wilkinson will be looking to build on his winner against Salford as he faces his old club, although he may not be ready to start as he works his way back to full sharpness.

Labadie should partner Jack Earing in midfield again and on Kenny Jackett’s Orient, he added: “We’ve been preparing all week and know they’re a good team with good players, but so are we.

“It should be a good game. It’s one we’re really looking forward to.”

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