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SMITH HOPING TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST BARNSLEY

20 October 2015

Boss targeting three points at Oakwell...

Walsall manager Dean Smith is hoping his side can get back to winning ways against Barnsley this evening.

The Saddlers slipped off the top of League One after losing 2-1 at home to Chesterfield – our first defeat in seven league matches.

And after a disappointing result on Saturday, Smith is hoping for a positive reaction against the Tykes tonight.

“We’re looking forward to the game,” said Smith.

“It’s a good opportunity to bounce back. We’ve done so already this season after the defeats against Bury and Chelsea.

“It’s nice that after 13 league games, Chesterfield was only our second defeat.

“Our reactions have been really good from the previous defeats and our performance levels in all 13 games have been good.

“The players have put a lot of hard work in and they have an understanding of what we’re trying to do.

“There’s a difference between trying not to lose and trying to win – and we’re trying to win each game.

“We’re looking to bounce back now.”

Lee Johnson’s Barnsley are in 17th position following three consecutive league defeats – but Smith is expecting a ‘tough game’.

“They’re a really good footballing team,” he added.

“Lee Johnson has done well there and they’ve got some really good players. They’ll be missing Conor Hourihane who got injured but it’ll be a tough game for us.

“They’re a big club in this league and will be targeting a top six finish this season. We’ll have to be at our best to get anything from them.

“We got well beaten there last year and our performance wasn’t very good. We need to address that and put that right this season.

“With this group of players, I’m sure there’ll be nothing less than a hardworking performance and hopefully we can get a win.”

Smith has several injury concerns for tonight’s trip to Oakwell.

“Neil Etheridge is a doubt because he had stitches in his knee (after the Chesterfield game),” Smith admitted.

“Andy Taylor and James O’Connor are 50-50. We’re waiting on Sam Mantom.

“We’re going to leave it until the last minute before we make a decision.”

Kick-off at Oakwell is at 7.45pm.

If you haven’t got a ticket, make sure you tune into Saddlers Player for full uninterrupted commentary at www.player.saddlers.co.uk.

Pre-match build-up, live in-game coverage and post-match reaction will also be available on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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