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Michael Flynn delighted after Walsall make dream start to League One campaign

Head Coach Michael Flynn was a delighted man as Walsall kicked off the new League Two season with an emphatic 4-0 win over Hartlepool United.

Walsall head coach Michael Flynn.
Walsall head coach Michael Flynn.

Danny Johnson led the way with a clinical hat trick after Brandon Comley had opened the scoring but Flynn hailed a thoroughly professional all-round performance from his team.

Even when four goals to the good, Walsall were still pushing forward searching for more, signs of the ‘mentality shift’ which the boss is striving for in his first full season at the helm.

When asked if it was going to be like this every week, Flynn replied: “You can only dream and hope!”

“It’s a good start to the season, and a very, very good performance by the team,” he added.

“Danny will get the plaudits for scoring a hat-trick on his debut, we know that, but I was more impressed with the way we went about our work when we were 4-0 up.

“The professionalism, the talking, the demanding nature from the players to do things right was more pleasing for me because that’s when you can switch off and maybe not keep a clean sheet and that would have been a downer because we completely dominated today – it’s three points and that’s it.

“I’m a manager who tries to put the proof in the pudding from the things I say.

“I told you my team are going to be fit, I told you we are going to press teams, I told you we are going to make it difficult for teams.

“Yes, we are going to lose games, yes, we are going to get outplayed, yes there are going to be teams who come up and make it difficult for us, but you will still see those fundamental philosophies of how I want us to play and the boys have taken it on board to a tee today to be honest.

“There’s a mentality shift around this club – even at 4-0, we were still 1-0 down.

“That’s the attitude and desire I want from these players and my staff so it was really pleasing.”

Flynn, who confirmed he is still keen to add more fresh faces to the 15 already snapped up this summer, was certainly delighted with the impact of Johnson, who took the matchball away from a clinical debut.

“If you saw him yesterday in training mind, he couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a handful of rice!” he quipped.

“But that’s why I wanted him in – I know what a clinical finisher he is, and he took his chances extremely well today.

“His left foot is deadly in the box, but I thought the whole team was brilliant today and I could go through every single one of them.

“It was nice to see Ronan make his debut for the football club as well and I think he has a bright, promising future.”

Flynn was also delighted to be sending fans home happy after watching their team produce such a promising launchpad for the challenging season ahead.

He added: “Today was pleasing and the atmosphere was excellent – nearly 6,000 fans here and I want it to be over 6,000 fans because they help us, it’s as simple as that, and the boys enjoy playing in front of them.

“We played really well but there will be games when we struggle, I know that – it’s a tough, demanding horrible league.

“There are some big teams in it and I’m still looking for more players to strengthen and improve us.”

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