Express & Star

Walsall v Mansfield: Do the right things and the wins will follow says Saddlers chief

Mat Sadler holds a strong belief that Walsall will turn results around over the coming games.


Saddlers welcome Mansfield Town to Bescot tomorrow afternoon looking to avoid back-to-back home league defeats for the first time in over two years.

Walsall are winless in five matches in League Two and the bubble of excitement which was created by five wins in six games over December has well and truly burst.

Meanwhile, Mansfield come into this match on the back of a club record-equalling 9-2 victory over Harrogate Town in midweek, which saw them climb to within one point of the League Two summit.

The Stags will be heavy favourites amid Walsall’s recent struggles, but Sadler is confident results will come.

When asked where the balance lies between performance and results, Sadler responded: “The middle of that is belief. The belief that if you play well and do well then you get results. Football is a game that goes on fine moments.

“On any journey, sometimes you go through a little spell of winning and other times you go through a spell of maybe not getting the results that you wanted to.

“I’m not getting carried away with too much. It’s very much reset, recover and get ready for the next game.

“Then look forward to when the result and the wins come. Then getting back that momentum.”

Walsall have sacrificed leads in three of their last four league matches, as they drew against Sutton at home and away to Gillingham and Crawley respectively.

Jack Earing believes performance levels are still high, but that Walsall have perhaps lacked the clinical streak to kill off certain games.

“The performances overall have been good since the start of December,” he claimed.

“The Newport game wasn’t us whatsoever but the performances have been there and we’ve been quite solid structurally too.

“Going forward we’ve had real chances in games and we know we want to be more ruthless. The other night we could’ve gone 2-0 up after the penalty and it would’ve been a different story.

“That’s one thing we’ve been working on. We need to be more ruthless in front of goal.

“We have been creating chances and we can create more but sometimes we’ve become a little bit sloppy when we’re holding on to a lead.

“That’s something else we need to work on.”

Owen Evans will be available after serving his one-match suspension following his red card in last weekend’s defeat against Newport.

George Barrett was recalled from his loan spell at Wolverhampton Casuals to provide cover on the bench at Crawley, but Sadler has confirmed he has returned to the Cassies on loan.

Elsewhere, Jamie Jellis (hamstring), Danny Johnson (toe), Harry Williams (hamstring) and Oisin McEntee (hamstring) remain unavailable.