Express & Star

Michael Flynn: I'm sorry for Walsall's first-half display

Michael Flynn has apologised to Walsall fans for the first-half showing against Colchester United, admitting: "It's the worst 45 minutes of me being in charge."

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The Saddlers endured a nightmare start as woeful defending allowed Frank Nouble to open the scoring for the visitors inside two minutes.

They were flat for the rest of the half before a far better display after the break saw Tom Knowles find the net, with the game finishing 1-1.

Flynn was happy with the second-half uplift but keen to say sorry for the first-half shortcomings.

He said: "We should have gone on and won it but at half-time, if you had asked me if we would go on to win it, I would've said 'no chance'.

"It's the worst 45 minutes of me being in charge.

"We lost every battle – first contact and second contact. We didn't have the courage to pass the ball.

"The goal we gave away was farcical. Nobody spoke to each other.

"We gave throw-ins away and couldn't receive it from a throw-in.

"I'll take responsibility as it's my team. I put them out there and probably got the set-up wrong – and one or two personnel.

"But what I will be positive about is the way we came out for the second half, the courage they had to get on the ball.

"As a team, we let them off the hook after that second-half performance.

"But the first-half performance was nowhere near good enough. We got booed off and rightly so.

"We've giving ourselves a mountain to climb.

"The second half, I've got to say, the crowd played a real part when we needed them. You could just feel the whole place lift.

"For that first-half performance, I'd like to apologise on behalf of myself and the team."

Knowles opened his Walsall account with a sweet left-footed strike after the hour mark.

Flynn added on Knowles' goal: "I'm made up for Tom.

"His attitude is fantastic. He's got a bright future, a winning mentality and willingness to learn."