Express & Star

Harrogate v Walsall: Saddlers send out warning as they eye their target

Mat Sadler’s Walsall have sent a warning to the the teams above them as they eye-up the play-off spots.

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Walsall visit seventh-placed Harrogate Town tomorrow, sitting three points adrift of the League Two play-off places after impressive victories against Mansfield Town and Morecambe.

Sadler’s side are looking for their first away win since New Year’s Day as the Walsall boss remains grounded but evermore optimistic of pushing those above.

Asked if he would admit they are in the play-off race, Sadler said: “There’s a long way to go. We’re building, the football club is building, we’ve gone through so many cycles even within a season.

“We certainly won’t be getting carried away, what we are is in a good vein of form at the moment and we’re earning the right for that. Clearly there’s lots of obstacles and hurdles to go.

“The league is very tight, and all bunching together. We will give it our best shot, but most importantly we want to go and give a good account of ourselves on Saturday.”

The Saddlers were beaten 3-0 when they visited the Sulphurites last season, and George Thompson supplied Harrogate with a 1-0 victory at Bescot in November.

Sadler joyously punched the air towards the Saddlers fans after victory on Tuesday, and was left ecstatic after his side claimed their second win in four days.

However, the upbeat Walsall boss is aware of the challenge his side face this weekend, saying: “It’s been a fantastic week, really good and two strong performances at home.

“It’s always brilliant to win at home, but like everyone we have to dust ourselves down. We’ve got 14 games left to go, and the next one is a really tough one against a team that are doing brilliantly. We have to be right on it again.”

Tuesday’s triumph was the Saddlers’ first clean sheet in 10 matche, while Emmanuel Adegboyega netted in the second consecutive match – on his first start.

“Most importantly we kept a clean sheet and I thought he defended really well,” said Sadler. “It was blatantly obvious the work that Jamille did to open the space for Emmanuel, and that’s what he does. Emmanuel learning from people like Jamille, that’ll really help him along his journey.”

Jamille Matt also scored for the second game in a row on Tuesday, and will look for his fifth League Two goal of the season at Harrogate.

The 34-year-old combined with fellow-forward Josh Gordon for his goal as a partnership begins to take shape, and Sadler has several attacking options with competition for places.

Sadler said: “We’ve got some really good options going forward and Danny (Johnson) is a few weeks away and then he comes into the mix too.

“What Josh does is he puts in such a shift for the team. He works so hard for the team coupled with Jamille.They’ve set a real standard for us.”