The Saddlers visit Fleetwood this weekend...Centre-back James O’Connor has been impressed with the way his teammates have responded to Dean Smith’s departure.
Smith, and his assistant Richard O’Kelly, joined Brentford 11 days ago, leaving coaches Jon Whitney, John Ward and Neil Cutler in temporary charge.
Under the caretaker trio, Walsall have beaten local-rivals Shrewsbury and drawn with Chesterfield in the FA Cup first round.
And O’Connor has praised the players’ positive reaction to Smith’s exit - insisting promotion remains the aim.
“From minute one, our response has been good,” said O’Connor.
“We’ve got a tight-knit bunch here and having a game (against Shrewsbury) the next day was a positive.
“The outcome and the way we performed was excellent.
“All the lads were really proud of each other. It was a big game for us and we showed a lot of belief.
“We kept playing the way we have been playing all along and I’m sure we will continue to do that.
“To get a good result at the end of it was a massive positive and we have reacted positively to everything that has been thrown at us.
“We all see it as an opportunity to get promoted this season.
“I have only had one in my career which shows you how rare they can be.
“So to have the opportunity at this stage of the season is a good platform and we want to go on and build on it.”
Walsall return to league action this weekend with a tricky trip to Steven Pressley’s Fleetwood, who we beat 2-0 in the FA Cup first round last month.
“It will be a completely different game this time,” said O’Connor.
“I don’t think that was our best performance and I’m sure we’ll go there and be well prepared, ready for whatever they throw at us.
“It will be a tough game on Saturday, every away game is in this division.”