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Bescot Banter: Focus on here and now

We're back with our latest look at the Saddlers, and it's back to square one for the Boys from the Bescot.

Walsall v Northampton action
Walsall v Northampton action

After suffering a seventh defeat in as many games, club officials were seemingly left with little option but to part ways with Head Coach Matthew Taylor, as they attempt to put the brakes on a run which sees the Saddlers sitting just above the relegation zone.

The latest defeat came at the hands of bottom-of-the-table Scunthorpe United, as the Iron were only too happy to take advantage of the Saddlers' overly-charitable defence, taking a big step on the road towards reversing their own season of struggle.

During what was a truly terrible trip to Glanford Park, Taylor's team stuck to their tried and tested formula as they wasted a handful of goal-scoring opportunities before allowing the opposition to take advantage of one of their own, defender Jai Rowe the man to net the only goal of the game.

Whether our fellow Saddlers supporters believe blame for the recent run of form lays at the feet of the head coach, technical director, or the members of the board, we can all agree that many of the current crop should also shoulder their share of the criticism.

As mentioned in last weekend's column, far too many first-team regulars have gone through games having very little impact upon proceedings. Happy to pass the ball sideways instead of finding a way of unlocking an opposition's defence, or allow an attacking opponent to breeze past them rather than attempt to steal the ball.

Individual performances aside, the defeat to Scunthorpe leaves us sitting just two places and four points above the relegation zone and, with fixtures against the top two, beginning with this weekend's clash with Tranmere Rovers, it's difficult to see where the crucial season-saving points will come from.

In fact, whether our opponents are leading the pack, or struggling at the foot of the table, the current crop appear incapable of taking the game to anyone and will need a minor miracle if they are truly to turn things around and avoid slipping yet further towards the drop zone before a new man has even been appointed.

Focusing on the prospective new manager, and it's clear whoever takes the helm will have a tough task just to settle the side, never mind finding form worthy of remaining in the fourth tier. And, with a slew of six-pointers still to come, the board simply have to get this appointment right.

Club officials can't go into this latest recruitment drive with a desire to build for the future, they must identify someone with a proven track record, someone who can both motivate the team and unite the fanbase, someone who can get points on the board now.

Whatever happens over the coming days, weeks and even months, whether a new manger is ultimately able to drag the team to safety, or the recent run continues and the nightmare of relegation is confirmed, it's clear things have to change, and soon.

We can't go on bouncing from manager to manager, system to system, hoping that it'll all work out in the end. Whilst there have been no shortage of plans over the last few years, from the 'football philosophy' to 'giving it a good go', there needs to be a real, achievable focus and not some hair-brained idea of returning a club in decline to the Championship.

We have to focus on the here and now, beginning with this weekend's tussle with Tranmere..

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