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Walsall v Crawley preview: Saddlers looking to make it five home wins on spin

Walsall defender Hayden White believes confidence is high at the moment – in the team and within himself.

Hayden White scored Walsall’s winning goal in their last home game – against Rochdale – while Liam Kinsella could be back in the squad after injury
Hayden White scored Walsall’s winning goal in their last home game – against Rochdale – while Liam Kinsella could be back in the squad after injury

The Saddlers go into the league game at home to Crawley Town tomorrow in a fine run of form.

White again featured at Carlisle last Saturday with a solid display in the goalless draw – their third clean sheet in a row in all competitions.

They are also unbeaten in five games and will be confident of impressing in front of their home fans after a run of two Saturdays on the road.

“Confidence in the squad is high at the moment with some of the recent results,” he said. “We have generally had a settled team, but with players to come back and provide competition for places, which is always good. We have been solid at the back and have looked like scoring goals – the task now is to convert those chances, but hopefully playing in front of the home fans will inspire us.”

White is one of the longest-serving players at the Poundland Bescot Stadium, having been there since 2020 and making close to 100 appearances.

He is also one of the most notably vocal – on and off the field.

He said: “I am naturally quite loud on and off the field, vocal in the dressing room, so it is no problem to take that into games.

“I am confident in marshalling the other players in the backline when I need to and all teams need someone who can do that, as well as being versatile, which I see as another asset to my game.

“I’ve had a good run in the team since I have been here – I haven’t missed many games and that sometimes means slotting into different roles at the back, but that is not a problem, I am enjoying being able to do so.”

Saddlers boss Michael Flynn recently called for a better success rate and more consistency away from home and will be hoping that translates to playing on home turf, with Walsall taking a break from league action next week – though they will be at home again in the FA Cup.

Flynn said earlier in the week all thoughts of the Cup game with Carlisle would be put aside until after the Crawley game.

The Sussex side have seen improved results under Lewis Young, who took over as interim manager when Kevin Betsy was sacked in October.

The 33-year-old – who made 304 first-team appearances for the club – was already part of Betsy’s coaching team after retiring from playing.

Crawley are unbeaten in five league games since Young’s appointment

Midfielder Liam Kinsella is expected to be fit for selection after missing the Carlisle game with a knock and Jack Earing could start after coming on as substitute at Carlisle.

Earing struggled in the close season with an Achilles injury and pulled up in the loss to Tranmere in September. He was initially expected to be out for 12 weeks.

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