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Walsall vs Stevenage - Match Preview

Michael Flynn is adamant that he trusts his players to prepare correctly as Walsall begin a tight run of fixtures at home to Stevenage tomorrow.

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn

Despite their impressive start to the season, injury issues mean the Saddlers do not have a large squad to pick from.

Flynn made six changes for the Carabao Cup win over Swindon on Tuesday, but many of the players that featured will need to play again tomorrow.

Following that, Walsall face a long trip to Barrow on Tuesday night before another arduous journey to Gillingham the following Saturday.

As a result, Walsall will struggle for time to train and will instead focus on recovery and some light tactical work – meaning Flynn must trust his players to look after themselves away from the watching eyes of the coaching staff.

“We have a horrendous week with a tough game on Saturday and a long trip to Barrow on Tuesday, before an even longer trip to Gillingham, and we go on the Friday,” Flynn said.

“It’s a big week and it’ll be tough. I just hope everybody comes through it unscathed.

“Now it’s all about rest, play, rest, play. They have to live right, eat right, get their recovery.

“I can’t monitor them when they’re not here but what I have got is trust in them, so it’s down to the players.

“We have to make sure that when we do sessions we get our points across.

“That might be via video analysis or walk-throughs on the pitch.

“We’ll show them clips of the games, where they can improve and where they can exploit Stevenage as well. We try to do things right, myself and my staff, so the players will be ready. There’s no excuses. We have a home game on Saturday and it would be nice to get a win.”

One player who may get a chance to shine is loanee Liam Bennett.

He made his first start in midweek and was the stand-out player, playing on both the left and right flanks.

With right-back Hayden White expected to miss out with an injury he picked up against Swindon, Bennett could make his first league start.

Flynn added: “Liam Bennett was exceptional. I said there’s going to be a mentality change around here. Jack Earing got man-of-the-match, but there was no way he was man-of-the-match, it was Liam Bennett.

“He was superb in both halves. That’s not taking anything away from Jack, but maybe the sponsors and whoever chose it need to wipe their glasses down and watch the game properly.

“All jokes aside, Liam Bennett was superb, which I know he can do.

“He made his debut for Cambridge against Plymouth on the left and he won man-of-the-match in that game as well, so it would have been fitting if he did win it here.”

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