Express & Star

Crawley v Walsall: Boss convinced Saddlers will gel again in attack

Mat Sadler insists Walsall will click in attack, as they search for a response against Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium tonight.


Walsall were humbled in a 3-0 defeat against Newport County at Bescot on Saturday.

The defeat extended their winless run to four league games and saw them fall nine points adrift of the League Two play-offs.

The Saddlers’ recent struggles have coincided with Freddie Draper’s recall by Lincoln City.

Walsall drew a blank for the first time in over two months on Saturday and have found the net just three times in four league outings, as opposed to their 11 strikes in the three games prior.

Sadler admitted it will naturally take time to form new relationships, but firmly believes partnerships will begin to build over the remainder of the campaign.

He said: “Freddie did great but we were very fortunate to have the ability to bring Mo (Faal) and Josh (Gordon) in. Jamille (Matt) is back now. We’ve covered it in the best way possible, but again when a player leaves, new dynamics are formed.

“We’re working on those new dynamics now and working towards finding out each other’s strengths and weakness again in a couple of areas.

“Clearly I knew that that would be a thing as we go and the nature of the postponements and it being a long-winded January hasn’t given us that opportunity to really go after it.

“We’ve got 17 brilliant games ahead to find that and find those relationships.”

Walsall are set to embark on a run of six games in the space of just 18 days - starting with Tuesday’s trip to Crawley.

There is a growing concern that Walsall could be braced for another difficult second half of the campaign.

But Sadler is determined to dig up those seeds of doubt before they can grow by producing an immediate response on Tuesday.

“It’s been very stop-start since the Grimsby game (on New Year’s Day) through some postponements and through the FA Cup.

“It won’t be stop-start now building into this next pattern of games. It will very full-on.

“We want to get back to who we are, what we do, what we pride ourselves on and who we’ve proven we are. That’s the message.

“We all want to refocus. We certainly won’t be dwelling on it because it moves very quickly on to the next.

“I’m excited by the fact that the next game will come quickly on Tuesday night.”

Goalkeeper Owen Evans was shown a straight red card late on against Newport.

Sadler felt the decision was “harsh” but the Welshman is now set to serve a three-match suspension.

Jamie Jellis (hamstring) is still an injury doubt, whilst Harry Williams (hip), Oisin McEntee (hamstring) and Danny Johnson (toe) remain unavailable.