Express & Star

Mat Sadler is looking to bring Walsall to the boil

Last updated

Mat Sadler today insisted Walsall's own Bostin' Tea Party can bring them to the boil.


Mat Sadler today insisted Walsall's own Bostin' Tea Party can bring them to the boil.

The left-back is in the squad's tea club – along with Lee Beevers, Anton Peterlin, Alex Nicholls and Jamie Paterson. The players take it in turns to make the drinks after training and anyone looking to leave now faces a fine as the Saddlers up the ante at their Essington base.

It is part of the strict, competitive, streak the squad have adopted this season to rid themselves of their strugglers tag.

And tomorrow's visit of League One leaders Charlton is the ideal chance for the Saddlers to cause a stir.

Sadler knows the team are in hot water in the relegation zone but insisted they are refusing to lie down.

He said: "Everything is a competition at training, from our head-tennis tournaments to putting the plates away from dinner or making a cup of tea.

"It's always geared up to that – when we're in the gym there's always a competition.

"We're talking to each other more, discussing things and supporting the younger lads and training has helped with that.

"There's more intensity and we're seeing an improvement every day. That has helped bring people together because you end up talking about it rather than just coming and then going.

"There are chinks of light but we haven't done ourselves justice at all in the first half of the season. It's gone so quickly but there are a lot of positives around the place, everyone is upbeat and looking to extend the three-game run."

The Addicks, seven points clear of second-placed Sheffield Wednesday, arrive as the division's top scorers with 42 goals and on the back of an eight-game winning streak.

Walsall have their own three-match unbeaten run to build on and Sadler said they should have nothing to fear.

"They are a threat going forward and it'll be a challenge for us but it's one we're looking forward to," said the 26-year-old former Birmingham man.

"They'll bring a few fans and we might have a few extra with it being a bigger team but I've said before teams in this league are very similar."

After the leaders' visit Walsall go to rock-bottom Chesterfield next Saturday before hosting Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day and fellow strugglers Rochdale on New Year's Eve.

But Sadler insisted the hectic Christmas schedule will not define the Saddlers' season.

He said: "Christmas time is a strange old time and we've got a few games in a short space of time. It won't define the season but there are points to be had. There are some winnable games too so it's an important but not a defining period of the season. We're looking to do well tomorrow, then we've got a big game at Chesterfield and looking for points there.

"You've got to keep a level head. Everyone has heard a million times about managers not getting over-excited about a win or too down on a defeat and that's the case here. If we win tomorrow – it's just a win.

"But it's not win or bust, let's take stock and we'll fight and scrap for every point."

The Saddlers are without the suspended Ryan Jarvis, who starts his three-game ban after a dismissal against Dagenham last weekend, while Kevan Hurst is a week away following a broken bone in his heel.

Darryl Westlake came through 90 minutes in the reserves' 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, after five weeks out with ankle ligament damage, but is unlikely to feature.

Skipper Andy Butler could return after sitting out the last two games with a cyst behind his hamstring.

Johnny Jackson, knee, and Dale Stephens, ankle, are out for Charlton while new signing Darel Russell could make the bench if he shrugs off a calf injury.

The Addicks ended Huddersfield's 43-league game unbeaten run with a 2-0 win at The Valley in their last League One outing and cruised past Carlisle by the same scoreline in the FA Cup.

But despite their rampant form, captain Matt Taylor insisted they must treat the struggling Saddlers with respect.

"They are a strong team and it's going to be a massive test. But we will keep our feet firmly on the ground," he said.

"We had a great result against Huddersfield, but that's gone now. That was just another three points.

"Saturday is massively important for us."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.