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Matt Taylor says belief is key as he looks to lift Walsall

Walsall boss Matt Taylor has reaffirmed his belief in his group of players while urging them to ‘compete better’ against Bradford City.


The Saddlers go into tonight’s important encounter at the Banks’s Stadium desperate to stop the rot.

They have lost their last three league games and slipped down to 17th in League Two as a result.

On why Walsall find themselves peering over their shoulders, Taylor said: “I think it’s confidence more than anything.

“If we’re stood here now and talking about a group that haven’t performed at the levels they have performed at this season, you could say ‘OK, maybe we’re not good enough’.

“But we are. So, it’s confidence. It’s always the way when you lose one game, and then another.

“I fully believed we would get a positive result on Saturday (losing 2-0 to Exeter City).

“There are no excuses, but if you look at everything at the moment, it’s all going against us in terms of players getting injured, players being suspended.

“So, I don’t think there’s any quick fix.

“We’ll try to put some Polyfilla over where we are at the moment.

“What we’ve got to do is train hard, work hard, and the players when they perform have got to be more confident. That’s the biggest thing I would say.

“When we play well, we look an exceptionally good team.

“But we haven’t done that often enough this season.”

Visitors Bradford come into the game sitting 12th, having lost one of their last seven league outings.

Having seen striker Lee Angol go off injured in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Rochdale, ex-Saddler Andy Cook is likely to lead the line for them.

Walsall will be without Rollin Menayese, who picked up a red after two yellows against Exeter, and the injured Stephen Ward.

New signing Donervon Daniels, though, is expected to come straight in at the heart of the defence.

Donervon Daniels (AMA)

Zak Mills will likely continue to fill in at left-back, with youngster Tom Leak alongside fresh face Daniels at centre-half.

“Maybe players will have to change positions, but that’s part and parcel of being a footballer,” said Taylor,

“I played in numerous positions and you do what you have to do.

“I want us to compete better. I want us to do the part of the game that takes effort and desire, not technical ability, better.

“We’ve got some really good technical players here.

“But on Saturday, I just felt we got bullied a bit.

“That’s not us. That’s not our identity. Get back to that, and we’ll be fine.”

Goalkeeper Carl Rushworth, meanwhile, is determined to grab a clean sheet.

He added: “It’s time to redeem ourselves, really. We just haven’t been on it. We’ve got to get back to the basics of keeping a clean sheet.

“Hopefully, then the front lads can get some goals for us.”

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