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SMITH PLEASED WITH SECOND-HALF SHOWING

5 October 2015

Boss felt his side improved after half-time...

Manager Dean Smith was pleased with his side’s second-half performance in the goalless draw at ten-man Wigan.

Latics captain Craig Morgan was sent off on 69 minutes for bringing down Kieron Morris but Walsall were unable to capitalise on their man advantage.

A draw maintained the Saddlers’ unbeaten away record, although Smith was disappointed not to take all three points following a much-improved showing after the break.

"It was an entertaining game,” said Smith.

“Both teams tried to play football and tried to win the game. They missed a couple of chances but so did we.

"We were second best in the first half and were fortunate to come in at 0-0 because of their domination. They had the majority of the possession and we only had sporadic counter-attacks.

“I said at half-time to the players that I thought they (Wigan) were playing at their level, but we were playing a little bit below ours.

“But we upped the level after half-time and I thought we were the better team in the second half.

"We did everything right after they got their player sent off. We kept possession in their half and created a few chances but, unfortunately, we couldn’t take them.

"At the end we were probably disappointed with the point - certainly after our second-half performance.”

Despite the draw, Smith was happy with the way his side acquitted themselves against an expensively-assembled Wigan team.

“We tried to get the win,” said Smith.

“We got shots and crosses in but the disappointing thing was that we didn’t work their keeper enough.

“Our use of the ball at times could probably have been better. But performance-wise and effort-wise, I couldn’t have asked for any more.

“Defensively we were very good again.

"They’ve got Will Grigg up front - a million pound player – and they've also got Jordy Hiwula and Michael Jacobs.

“They've got a lot of good players and they’ll be a test for anyone who comes here to play against them so we can take a lot of heart from that."

Next up is an intriguing top-of-the-table clash against League One leaders Burton at the Banks’s this Saturday.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Smith.

“They won again (1-0 against Southend) so it’ll be another tough game. But we’ve only lost once in 11 games this season, which is a tribute to the lads and how well they’re doing. We want that run to continue.”

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