Express & Star

Big striker blow for key Walsall man

Walsall forward Danny Johnson is set to miss six to eight weeks with a broken toe.


Johnson was ruled out of Walsall's 1-1 draw against Sutton United and Sadler has confirmed that the 30-year-old is poised for a lengthy spell on the side lines.

Harry Williams has also faced another setback in his recovery from a hip flexor injury, but Sadler insists he is satisfied with his attacking options following the loan signings of Mo Faal and Josh Gordon from Albion and Burton respectively.

"It's exactly the same as the initial assessment was. The time frame will be the same so we're talking six to eight weeks depending on how it goes," Sadler revealed.

"We're fortunate we've done what we've done in the attacking areas. We've got a bit of bad news on Harry Williams' hip flexor as well so that might keep him out for a bit longer than we expected.

"I'll have problems on my hands if I do that (sign any more centre-forwards). We've got loads of attacking options moving into this next phase so I won't be signing anyone else up there that's for sure."

Donervon Daniels opened his goal scoring account for the campaign with a powerful strike into the top corner on 18 minutes.

Sutton got back on level terms through Craig Eastmond's deflected shot five minutes later, and Sadler was frustrated to have conceded so soon after going ahead.

"You have to pay testament to the opposition. They're fighting for their lives and it's no coincidence when they do the same thing three times on the trot to kind of stifle the game," he observed.

"They've got some experienced players who know how to settle the game and I think that stopped us in our tracks a little bit.

"We're frustrated that we conceded after going ahead, frustrated with the manner of that and then just didn't quite have the final bit of quality to get our noses back in front."

Jamille Matt made his return from injury as a second half substitute, and partnered debutant Mo Faal in the second half.

Sadler also considered introducing Ross Tierney, who was stripped and ready to come on with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Jack Earing remained on the pitch to complete his first full 90 minutes in 13 months, which Sadler was pleased to see him do.

He added: "I was going to bring him on at about 75 minutes. Jack (Earing) made a fantastic run and drove up the pitch, and I thought, is he getting himself back into the game now?

"(I) hesitated on that one if I am honest. Ross (Tierney) will continue to be a key figure for us moving forward, but I am pleased to get 90 minutes into Jack.

"I know he has been desperate for that and it'll probably tick a few boxes in his head after the injury. We've got great options. Ryan Stirk and Taylor Allen on the bench, and Emmanuel (Adegboyega) who we signed in the window."