Express & Star

Walsall's Donervon Daniels: Players take blame for Saddlers’ run

Walsall skipper Donervon Daniels has outlined his ‘strong love and respect’ for boss Michael Flynn and says their poor run is down to the players.


The Saddlers find themselves on an 11-game winless run across all competitions having lost 1-0 to Tranmere Rovers at the weekend.

Centre-half Daniels insists the squad need to take responsibility for recent results and repay the manager’s faith in them.

“I have a strong love and respect for the gaffer and his staff. This is nothing to do with coaching,” said Daniels.

“They have put a team out there and we are consistently good enough to win, but we haven’t been consistent enough throughout those games to get the results.

“It’s frustrating and I’m not happy, and none of the boys are going home feeling chuffed. I’m sure the fans aren’t.

“The gaffer has recruited well. It’s lapses of concentration.

“We’ve been in winning positions, strong defensively and then someone has just lost concentration.

“Or we’ve been on top and we just haven’t taken our chances.

“You can go through it, and you can’t sit down and say the person sitting by the side of the pitch picking the team is at fault for it.

“We know this as a group of lads and we will fix it as a group of lads.”

Daniels has been a consistent starter in defence and has donned the armband this season while Joss Labadie continues to recover from an ACL injury.

The defender signed a new two-year deal in the summer and highlighted then how he had ‘hit it off’ with Flynn and it being a big factor in committing his future to Walsall.

Daniels added on Flynn and the loss to Tranmere: “He has shown a lot of confidence and faith in me as an individual and I feel he has shown a lot of faith in a lot of boys in that dressing room.

“We’ve been close it to repaying at times and showing the fans why they should have the trust and why they do have the patience in us.

“But it is also a tough period where we have to start turning up and have to start winning.

“We don’t want to be too far away from the pack because we have aspirations this season and I know we are in a really tricky spot.

“But I’ve played long enough now to know it takes a win to spur you in that right direction, that positive move.

“We fought hard, we worked hard, we didn’t play a slick style of football but with the style of play of Tranmere, we had to win the first ball, the first contact. For the majority of the game we did that.

“Conceding that goal was gut-wrenching and none of us are happy.

“We are frustrated but we are a good group, good players, and I feel this is only going to help us. But we have to stop using words and go out there and really put the work we do in the week into action.”