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WEMBLEY: O'CONNOR BACK ON THE BIGGEST STAGE

19 March 2015

Defender geared up for another memorable day on the hallowed turf...

THE LAST time James O’Connor graced the Wembley turf, he put in a Man of the Match display as his Doncaster Rovers side overcame the challenge of Leeds United to win the 2007/08 League One play-off Final.

The 30 year-old is hoping for a repeat on Sunday as he looks to help The Saddlers lift the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

“Some players never get the opportunity to play at Wembley during their careers, so for me to have the chance to do it again is fantastic,” he said. “It was a perfect day for me last time; I had a lot of family and friends there and to win topped everything off and made it extra special.

“Once you get to any Final, it’s all about what happens on the day. Anything can happen and I fancy us against any side at this level.

“We go into the game full of confidence and determined to win. I have told the younger lads to take it all in because it’s something they will look back on for years to come.

“It’s a big thing for us all to be part of the team that has taken Walsall to Wembley for the very first time. It’s a great opportunity for us to go down in history.”

O’Connor, who had a loan spell at Sunday’s opponents, Bristol City, last season, feels that the penalty shoot-out victory at Tranmere Rovers was a key moment in our Johnstone’s Paint Trophy run.

“For me that penalty shoot-out win at Prenton Park was a stand-out moment,” he added. “It was a game where we found ourselves two goals down at half-time, but we battled back and to get through in that manner gave us plenty of belief.

“The Area Final was also special. Playing over two legs was a new experience for us, but we handled it really well and obviously keeping two clean sheets against a side like Preston was a big thing and a real achievement.

“It set us up nicely for the Final and hopefully I can play my part in another Wembley win on the biggest stage.”

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