Express & Star

Boss Mat Sadler addresses Walsall fans' frustration with request

Walsall boss Mat Sadler has called on supporters to unite in support of his team for the club to build success together.


The Saddlers hunt a first League Two victory in seven games at play-off chasing Notts County tomorrow.

Fans have voiced their frustration over the lowly league position of 19th, which Sadler accepts, and just a single win – at non-league Sheppey United – in nine games.

The Bescot boss said: “I’ve said throughout my time here – we’re building something here and we will continue to build something here.

“I understand the frustrations because we’ve left a few points behind which probably skews the league position and that’s the element of frustration, undoubtedly we have left points behind, which I don’t believe we would’ve, but we’ve had some tough, tough injuries.

“I understand it, everyone’s had them, there’s no excuses on that but reasons why.

“For me, we are building something and we will build something extremely successful here, there’s no doubt about that.

“We’re facing a little bit of pain at the moment, but we need them with us. We need them with us in this period, because when we come out of it, which we will, it’ll be all the more sweeter.

“Do I understand frustration? Yes I do. Do I like to see it overspill? No I don’t, because it doesn’t help the team or anybody. We need to be united throughout all parts of the club, because in my opinion that’s the only way we’re going to be successful, if we are all united.

“If we see this for what it is, the project and the build, for me that has to be how we galvanise and go with each other. Because, again, what has the club done over however many years? Exactly this cycle and the only time its been successful in recent memory is when we haven’t done that and accepted that.”

Sadler has consistently referenced the club’s churn in managers over recent years and suggested the last period of success, under Dean Smith, came after some consistency with the management.

Walsall’s last league win was the 4-1 home success over Gillingham on October 14. The head coach, appointed in the summer, referenced injury absences to key attacking players as reasons behind a lack of wins but stressed they were not excuses.

He added: “Of course we know we have to get on the right side of a couple of results, we’re part of a build project and we’ll keep piecing it together with the likes of Ross (Tierney), who you’ve just spoken to, and others who will continue in that build, young and hungry players desperate to do well.

“There has been some pain, yes, but the continual rotating door won’t bring us any success, I thoroughly believe that.

“We know loads of examples around the country who suffered some pain but went with what they believed was right and I know the club believes that so we have to keep driving forward.”

When asked, the head coach said there had been no talks or messages of supporter from Walsall’s Trivela Group ownership outside of the normal communication between the head coach and club chiefs.

“No different to what I’ve always had with them, we know what we’re trying to do here,” Sadler said. “I’m sure at some point Ben (Boycott) or Matt (Jordan) will come and echo that, build on that and provide some context to that – but we’re completely united here, above, at the stadium – so come with us and support us because trust me it makes such a big difference.

“We don’t want that point of self-fulfilling prophecy where we’re unsettled and it spills into the players and then it’s that same thing of a revolving door. We want to build.”