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'Clear improvement' from Walsall's Stoke loanee Douglas James-Taylor

Walsall boss Michael Flynn says he has seen a clear improvement from Douglas James-Taylor in the past couple of weeks, adding: “He looks hungry.”

Douglas James-Taylor
Douglas James-Taylor

Young striker James-Taylor is yet to score for the Saddlers since arriving on a season-long loan deal from Stoke City and has not made a start in League Two so far.

Flynn, however, has been impressed with the 20-year-old’s work in training as of late and feels he has ‘stepped up’.

“The one thing I’ll say is that for the last 10-14 days, Douglas has been Douglas,” said Flynn.

“He’s been the player where I knew what we had, with his potential.

“He’s looked angry, got hold of the ball and been effective. He looks hungry.

“I’m not saying he didn’t look hungry before, but it’s taken him a while to get used to the environment and intensity of first-team football.

“Over the last couple of weeks, he has stepped up, and he should be stepping up because he has got a lot of tools in his armoury.”

James-Taylor has only made two brief substitute appearances in the league so far, racking up 18 minutes of action, while he has had more game time in both the Carabao Cup and Papa John’s Trophy.

He would have been hoping to make an impact on the pitch as Walsall travelled to Stockport County today.

Flynn, meanwhile, is very much taking a results-over-performances approach as the Saddlers aim to end an 11-game winless run.

They were at Edgeley Park today ahead of hosting Northampton Town on Tuesday and welcoming AFC Wimbledon to Bescot next weekend.

“I’d rather you come and say after the game ‘Michael, you were awful today, but you got the three points’,” added Flynn.

“It’s getting to that point where, yes, performances are important in terms of the right style of football and getting the crowd on their feet.

“But I want results. We need to grind out a few results, and then you can almost worry about the performances after as it’s been a tough period.

“I can’t fault the group in terms of their work ethic and passion for the club.

“It is just those concentration levels where they switch off.

“I’ve seen a lot of good things in training this week, but it means nothing if we lose.”

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