Express & Star

Mat Sadler hails "trust" as key Walsall ingredient in Doncaster win

Mat Sadler believes there is a "real trust" amongst his Walsall team as they defeated Doncaster Rovers 3-1 at Bescot to climb into sixth


The Saddlers registered a fifth straight league win for the first time since December 2015, which saw them leapfrog Barrow to climb into sixth-place.

Sadler admitted there was always going to be a period of transition after Freddie Draper's recall by Lincoln City but is delighted to be reaping the rewards as Josh Gordon and Mo Faal got on the score sheet.

"What we've got now is that real trust amongst each other of how good we know we are. That takes time," he said.

"I spoke to you after January, deep down I knew there would be a little period of refining relationships again because we all knew Freddie's game and we all knew how to play with each other at that stage and that had taken time.

"It's taken a little bit of time with Josh and Mo as well but you can see that we are reaping the reward for that now. We all know what each other's game is and that's a really powerful place to be."

Josh Gordon opened the scoring with a lovely glancing header from Liam Gordon's cross in the 18th minute.

That opener saw him reach 50 career goals and also ended a goal drought which dated back to April last year when he scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 win for Barrow against Crawley Town.

Sadler revealed that his wait for a goal was beginning to weigh on the forward's mind and felt he earned it through his determination and hard work.

"I know Josh so well. I've known him for a long time now. I've known him as a teammate and now I know him as a manager," he revealed.

"Whilst I know he gives me absolutely everything, that little thing was weighing on his shoulders that he wanted his first goal.

"We had conversations on Thursday and Friday. I'm delighted for him that he got his goal today because he has earned it.

"He does such a job for the team. He works so hard and it sets the tempo for us. I thought he was brilliant."

Kyle Hurst equalised with a free header at the back post just past the hour-mark but Jack Earing equalised with a thumping finish through a sea of bodies.

Mo Faal had made his entrance shortly before to a chorus of boos from the away section. Sadler told him to suck in the animosity and prove them wrong, and he did exactly that by scoring his second in three matches with a near post header from Taylor Allen's corner.

"I am buzzing for Mo. It was a cracking finish from Jack because there was a lot of bodies running towards him there and he had the composure to set himself and use his maybe weaker foot, I don't really know with Jack," he continued.

"He's very much a two-footed player. I thought we looked a real threat from set plays, especially towards that goal. It's so loud towards our home end, they make such a racket and it just sucks the ball in.

"I said to Mo just before he came on, I asked him to listen to the boos. Listen to them, suck them in, take them in and go and prove them wrong.

"He did that. I thought his overall play was brilliant and it set us off on some counter-attacks. Those long legs kept running didn't they? They kept moving and motoring and got us up the pitch and gave us another load of energy, drive and determination."