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Club News


11 September 2015

Defender to face his former club...

Central defender, James O’Connor, believes Walsall are capable of beating any team on their day.

The 30-year-old has been an ever-present for the Saddlers so far this season, helping us climb to third in League One after four wins in our opening six matches.

Dean Smith’s side suffered a first league defeat of the season against Bury last weekend.

But despite the setback, O’Connor says the Saddlers can overcome anyone at this level – providing we perform at our best.

“It’s been an encouraging start and we’ve shown what we’re capable of,” said O’Connor.

“There is no-one to fear in this division. But, at the same time, the last game showed that you always have to be up for it because every team - no matter where they are in the table - are a threat.

"Anyone can beat anyone in this division.

"It’s up to us to keep our performance levels as high as possible. If we can do that, we’ll win a lot more games than we’ll lose.

"We genuinely believe that we can win every game.”

Walsall are targeting a return to winning ways tomorrow afternoon against O’Connor’s former club, Doncaster.

Rovers parted company with manager, Paul Dickov, on Tuesday - leaving experienced defender, Rob Jones, in caretaker charge.

The South Yorkshire club are in 17th position following an indifferent start – but O’Connor insists we won’t be taking them lightly.

“I haven’t seen much of Doncaster this year, but they’re probably one of the bigger clubs in this division and are expected to be up there,” said O’Connor.

“I can’t really comment on the situation with their manager because I haven’t seen much of them.

"You sometimes get a reaction (with a change of manager). We know they’re going to come out and try to get a reaction, but we’ll be ready for it.

"We’ve spoken a few times this season about being ruthless and kicking teams when they’re down, and it might be a similar scenario on Saturday.

"But we’ll be approaching the game like we do every game.”

O’Connor spent six years with Doncaster between 2006 and 2012 – winning promotion from League One in 2008, and the Football League Trophy the year before.

“I had some great times there,” he added.

“I was there for six years and loved nearly every minute of it. It didn’t finish in the nicest way possible. The Club was in a transitional period and both parties went their separate ways.

"Five of those six years were fantastic. I met some great people and had some success as well.

"I haven’t got a bad word to say about the Club.”

Tickets are still available for tomorrow's match (kick-off 3.00pm).

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