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Joss Labadie: Just the beginning for Walsall

“This is just the beginning" for Walsall captain Joss Labadie who is starting to find his rhythm and becoming a bigger influence in the Saddlers engine room.

SPORT COPYRIGHT MNA MEDIA TIM THURSFIELD 16/10/21 .LEYTON ORIENT V WALSALL.Joss Labadie and Tom James.
SPORT COPYRIGHT MNA MEDIA TIM THURSFIELD 16/10/21 .LEYTON ORIENT V WALSALL.Joss Labadie and Tom James.

That was the verdict of Head Coach Matt Taylor after the skipper produced a delightfully disruptive display to help stifle Leyton Orient in Saturday's goalless draw.

Labadie's approach in breaking up the game incurred the wrath both of the opposition and the home supporters, but, particularly in the second half, he also showed the offensive side to his game by helping kick off several promising attacks.

He also continued to dove-tail successfully with midfield counterpart Jack Earing, building up a successful combination in the middle of the park.

"I like the balance of us in midfield," said Taylor.

"I like the football they can play and the positions that they take up.

"And Joss manages the game extremely well.

"If he wasn't at our football club I would probably be extremely frustrated playing against him but we are fortunate that we have him here.

"He is our captain and our leader and his performance on Saturday is probably somewhere near to where we want him to be on a regular basis.

"We have to remember that he has had injuries, and Covid has affected him, but hopefully he is starting to get into a rhythm and this is just the beginning for him."

Saturday's game was only Walsall's second clean sheet of the season and Taylor was pleased with the performance of his defensive line.

He also believes competition for places in the central defensive area will ensure that Manny Monthe and Rollin Menayese keep their standards high.

"They are getting better in there and understand what is required from them," says Taylor.

"We are very fortunate not just to have two good centre halves but four, and competition is good.

"We knew the two centre backs were going to have a tough game at Orient but they were strong and resolute.

"They wanted to go to war, and that is massive because at this level you have to be strong, but we also know that both of them can play and have ability on the ball."

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