Express & Star

Walsall v Swindon: Sadler backing his side to right the wrongs of losses

Mat Sadler insists he has no doubts that Walsall are capable of responding to back-to-back defeats when they welcome Swindon Town to Bescot this evening.


Walsall were beaten 2-1 at Doncaster Rovers last Tuesday, before they suffered a first home defeat in two months against Notts County on Saturday.

The Saddlers remain just three points adrift of the play-offs due to Crawley Town falling to successive defeats themselves.

Walsall have dropped two places to 11th, but Sadler has backed his squad to rediscover their form after a late season blip.

He said: “I never doubt that from the group. They’ll always keep responding, they’ll always keep going.

“We speak constantly about how we deal with setbacks because they’re going to come. That’s the game and it’s about how you deal with them.

“There were moments for us (against Notts County) where it could’ve gone the other way. It didn’t and now we have to focus on the next game.”

Donervon Daniels was restored to the defence as Emmanuel Adegboyega dropped out of the squad altogether on Saturday.

Sadler revealed Adegboyega was rested due to “tiredness” and will be available for selection for the visit of Swindon.

Tom Knowles is also pushing to be involved in the squad after returning to training last week following a five-week absence with an ankle injury.

The same cannot be said about goalkeeper Jackson Smith, who is expected to miss his third successive game due to concussion.

Brandon Comley is ineligible due to a one-match suspension, while Jack Earing, Oisin McEntee (both hamstring) and Harry Williams are also unavailable, but Sadler is confident that he has options across his squad who can impact games.

The Walsall boss continued: “We’ve got options throughout. I’ve left out Rem (Oteh), Manny (Adegboyega) and (Tom) Knowles from the squad. We’ve got players that can affect things.

“I’ve been able to bring Jamie (Jellis) in and give him an opportunity. We’ve got options, you mentioned about the squad and tiredness, we have plenty of options to change things as we want.

“We’ve also got a lot of lads who want to right a few wrongs (from the Notts County defeat).”

Jamie Jellis, who signed from National League North champions Tamworth in January, made his Walsall debut with a cameo from the bench on the weekend.

And Sadler is excited to see what the future holds for the young midfielder.

“The lad has been pushing. He doesn’t stop running, he’s like a little bulldog in there,” he said.

“He has real quality and he wants to take the opportunity of being in and around first team football.

“We’ve had to wait for a couple of reasons. He had a little hamstring injury when we signed him.

“But he wants to take his opportunity and those are the type that I love at this football club.”