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AFC Wimbledon v Walsall preview: Michael Flynn wants more aggression from Saddlers

Walsall boss Michael Flynn wants his side to be more aggressive as they desperately look to turn draws into wins.

Saddlers boss Michael Flynn is expecting to see more from Conor Wilkinson before the end of the season and called on his side to be more aggressive
Saddlers boss Michael Flynn is expecting to see more from Conor Wilkinson before the end of the season and called on his side to be more aggressive

The Saddlers have drawn 16 out of their 37 League Two games this season including an incredible nine in the last 12.

It has curtailed any serious hopes of a play-off push and has proved a source of frustration for Flynn.

He felt with more ‘controlled aggression’ from the start at Grimsby, they could have won rather than drawn and will be looking for a positive response at AFC Wimbledon.

Flynn said: “People will look at the Wimbledon game and think it is winnable which it is – they all are but you have to earn the right to do that the same way as in any game of football

“And to win in this league you have to be on your game from the start which we weren’t at Grimsby.

“They started better and were rewarded for it early on and it then took us a while to recover to the extent I felt I needed to make changes at the break.

“It is also about being aggressive for the whole 90 minutes and by that I mean controlled aggression not over the top stuff that gets you in trouble.

“We need to be first to every ball or the majority of them win the second ones, get our tackles in when we don’t have the ball and to be quick enough to lay the ball off when we do to someone in a better position.”

Flynn said he felt Walsall could have won as many as 10 of the 16 games they have drawn but would be looking to put that right in the final nine.

He said: “I don’t recall many or any really where we couldn’t have won or had to settle for a draw – it’s not something I will ever do for a start and I drill that into the players.

“People will say we don’t have much to play for but as professionals you always do.

“A midweek trip to London is not everyone’s idea of being convenient or rewarding, but for us it is a game the same as any other and winning it will make it sweeter.”

“They are coming into it on the back of a long trip to Barrow where they were ahead but lost and an 11-game run without a win.

“But that could make it more difficult for us as they will be desperate to put that right so we have to make sure we set up correctly and are on our game from the first whistle.”

Flynn said he is also expecting more to come from striker Conor Wilkinson towards the end of the season.

Wilkinson showed in flashes what he could do on Saturday but was largely shackled by the Grimsby defence.

Flynn said: “I have said it before but Conor is still coming back from his injury and we have seen what he can do but it is all about him having the confidence to do it more often.

“I need him to do that as he is an important player for us and I think it is an important period for him between now and the end of the season.”

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