Chelsea boss praised Walsall's quality...SADDLERS midfielder Sam Mantom admits the players have an extra spring in their step after being complimented on their playing style by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
The charismatic Portuguese – one of the most successful managers in the world – described the quality of Walsall’s football as the best he has ever seen from a League One side.
Mourinho was speaking also Chelsea’s 4-1 Capital One Cup third round win at the Banks’s on Wednesday evening.
Despite the scoreline, Walsall performed well against the Premier League champions.
And Mantom says the whole squad can take plenty of confidence from their display, as well as Mourinho’s flattering comments.
“We were chuffed with our performance,” said Mantom.
“We gave it our all but they were at a different level. We can learn from the game and it was a great experience.
“Coming in on Thursday to do some recovery work, everyone was smiling and buzzing off the comments from Mourinho.
“He also said to the gaffer after the game, ‘keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be right up there this season’.
“That’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Walsall are second in League One after losing only once in eight league matches and can go top with a win over second-bottom Crewe this afternoon.
Dean Smith’s men are favourites – but Mantom insists no-one will be taking Crewe lightly.
“Bury were low down when they came to our place a few weeks ago, they sat in and got an early goal which proved to be the match-winning goal,” said Mantom.
“Crewe might try and do something similar so it’s up to us to stop that and give the fans the performance they want to see.”