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Walsall v Tranmere: Michael Flynn upbeat as Saddlers strive to end run

Michael Flynn insists he is staying in a positive frame of mind as Walsall look to finally end their winless run.

Danny Johnson has had an impact since arriving on loan
Danny Johnson has had an impact since arriving on loan

Make no mistake, it has been a difficult spell for the Saddlers with them now 10 games without victory across all competitions.

Flynn, though, was enthused by the work rate on show as they lost to Cheltenham Town in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday.

He is still upbeat as they get ready to welcome Tranmere Rovers to Bescot tomorrow and keen to stress he has endured far more difficult situations in the past.

“I’ve been through tougher times than this in football,” said Flynn.

“When they’re not running for you and when they’re not creating anything, that’s when you’ve got to start worrying.

“But we’ve had an horrendous injury situation. I’ve never endured as much as this.

“When you look from Saturday (at Leyton Orient), it could be six or seven starters that were missing.

“If you take six or seven out of Man City or Liverpool, they would struggle, so I’m not getting too down.

“I’m staying positive because I’m the leader of this group.

“We’ve got to get them through this tough patch.”

Walsall’s opponents Tranmere have similarly struggled for form so far this season but have had a couple of results to lift the mood over the last week.

They returned to winning ways against Salford City last weekend before prevailing on penalties over Bolton Wanderers in the Trophy in midweek.

As the Saddlers aim to get back on the horse, they could welcome Jack Earing back into a league XI for the first time in a few weeks.

The attack-minded midfielder staked a claim with a bright showing against Cheltenham and may well have done enough to keep hold of a starting spot.

Danny Johnson – having scored off the bench at Whaddon Road – will be in from the off and keen to build on the eight goals he has already this term.

Flynn is also buoyed by the fact his injury list is, slowly but surely, starting to clear up.

Oisin McEntee could return to contact training next week while Joss Labadie and Conor Wilkinson have been doing running drills.

Liam Gordon is likely to be in the squad again after his comeback at Cheltenham, too.

“Players are starting to come back. I’m hoping for some good news on Oisin over the weekend,” added Flynn.

“He’s gone back to see the surgeon to see if he can return to contact. That would be another body back.

“We’re starting, slowly, to get them to come back.

“It’s good for the rest of the group and good for them as it’s lifting everyone.

“You can see the calibre of players that are starting to come back and, hopefully, they’ll make the ones who are fit play even better and more consistent.”

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