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Club News


29 December 2015

Head Coach on third straight victory and clean sheet...

Having watched his side record a third straight victory without conceding a goal, Head Coach, Sean O’Driscoll was keen to heap praise on his players following a 2-0 victory over Peterborough United. 

The win ensured the Saddlers maintain our place at the summit of League One going into the New Year and O’Driscoll was pleased with the way his side shackled their opponents. 

“I think another clean sheet is a massive plus for everybody,” said the 58-year old. “When you look at the team there’s quite a lot of forward thinking players and we’ve not got our arguably best striker on the pitch yet so clean sheets will breed confidence as well as winning games.

“In the short time I’ve been here, Peterborough are the best team I’ve seen. 

“We had a certain game plan that tried to nullify what they do and the stats will tell us that we did that. 

“They get fluid and if you come up against a team that get fluid they will always create chances. But I thought we gave as much as we got.” 

“We’ll lose games between now and the end of the season where we will be the dominant team but I think we showed against Millwall that we can compete when it was an aerial battle. 

“And I thought we showed we can compete with a side in Peterborough who move the ball really well and try to play on the ground.” 

Goals from Jason Demetriou and George Evans in the final ten minutes of the game maintained O’Driscoll’s 100 percent record since his appointment eleven days ago. 

Peterborough arrived at the Banks’s boasting the highest goal tally in the division. Graham Westley’s side committed players forward throughout the game, contributing to what was, for long periods, an open and even contest. 

“I enjoyed the game,” O’Driscoll added. “I said to the players at half time, I don’t know what it’s like to play in but it’s a great game to watch. 

“Two teams going hammer and tong. 

“We were a little bit more cautious than them. They play a really expansive game but we have to maintain what we’ve been doing really well. 

“Both teams looked like they could score."

O’Driscoll also reiterated the demand for his players to be versatile after deploying a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield. 

“Going into the second half of the season having that flexibility is important,” he concluded. “It comes between the ears rather than a positional sense. If the players believe they can be flexible, they will be. 

“[Anthony] Forde came on and played the right side of the diamond, Kieron [Morris] went on upfront and we can also switch to a three with wing-backs. 

“So the more we can do that, if we can’t change personnel but we can change the way we play, then it gives us an advantage over other teams.” 

Walsall welcome Rochdale to the Banks’s on Saturday (3.00pm kick-off) in the first game of the 2016 calendar year.

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