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Carlisle v Walsall: Michael Flynn hopes to celebrate award with another win

Walsall head coach Michael Flynn is celebrating winning the League Two manager of the month award for October.

Flynn learned he had won the award yesterday after seeing off competition from Dave Challinor of Stockport County, Stevenage’s Steve Evans and Lewis Young from Crawley Town.

But it might not mean anything to him if his side don’t extend their unbeaten league run to four games and close the gap on opponents Carlisle United tomorrow.

Carlisle are in the last play-off position, where Walsall aspire to be very soon.

A record of four wins, two draws and just one defeat in October earned Flynn the monthly award and they hope that sort of form will extend to November.

Already they have beaten Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 in the FA Cup with an excellent performance in Buckinghamshire last weekend.

That means they will face an early reunion with the Cumbrians at the Poundland Bescot Stadium on the weekend of November 26.

Speaking after the win at Wycombe, Flynn admitted the absence of Liam Bennett from the team due to his parent club Cambridge not wanting him cup tied would give him a headache for tomorrow’s league game.

Cambridge face a replay against Curzon Ashton next Tuesday when the FA Cup issue may be resolved, but it does give Flynn a nice problem for tomorrow when all thoughts of the FA Cup will be put on the back burner,

Midfielders Joss Labadie and former Cumbrian Joe Riley were due to be back in training this week, along with forward Connor Wilkinson.

All three are coming back towards full fitness, with Flynn saying it was good to have numbers available.

Walsall are currently 12th in League Two, five points behind Carlisle, and they will be hoping the momentum they have gained in recent weeks will carry them to victory at Brunton Park as they look for a push towards the play-offs.

In the corresponding fixture last season, Carlisle beat Walsall 1-0 with a goal from Tristan Abrahams, but the Saddlers returned the favour in May, Jack Earing’s goal separating the two sides.

Meanwhile, Liam Gordon has praised the faith Flynn has shown in him since a potentially career threatening injury and said he hopes to reward him with some consistent performances

He said: “He has been so helpful and was patient with my injury, never tried to rush me back or anything like that.

“He spoke to me a lot and told me to take my time but has also been demanding on the football side and wants me playing at the standard he knows I can be at.

“To be consistently playing is my short-term goal and to keep scoring and assisting. Long-term, my goal is promotion, it’s as simple as that and I believe we have the team for that as well.”

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