Tricky Morecambe tie in the JPT tonight...ATTACKING midfielder, Romaine Sawyers, believes professionalism will be the key to cup progression when Walsall play League Two Morecambe in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round this evening.
The Saddlers, who reached the JPT final last season, moved to the top of League One on Saturday after thrashing Blackpool 4-0 – our sixth successive win in all competitions.
Sawyers was named man of the match in the Blackpool rout – during which he scored twice – including a goal of the season contender.
And ahead of tonight’s tricky Morecambe tie, the 23-year-old admits the squad will have to cope with the pressure of being favourites if we are to start another cup run.
“We have to be professional because we’ll be expected to win like on Saturday,” said Sawyers.
“We’ve got potential in the team and we’re going out and showing it. If we can produce performances like we did against Blackpool, we’ll get more results.
“But we can’t put too much pressure on ourselves. We had a great run (in the JPT) last year, but we didn’t do so well the year before.
“You want to go and win every game, whether it is in the cup of the league.
“We’ve pitted our wits against two Championship sides (Nottingham Forest and Brighton in the League Cup) this season, and there’s a belief that in every game we can do a job.”
The Saddlers squad will be full of confidence after the Blackpool result – our biggest victory of the season so far.
“It was a massive performance,” said Sawyers.
“Defensively we looked solid; we didn’t give them a lot and they had one half chance at the start of the second half.
"Apart from that, we defended from the front, all the way through the units perfectly. Going forward, we scored four – and could have had more – but to get four away from home is great.”
Sawyers’ Blackpool brace took his season goal tally to four – and the talented midfielder admits he is enjoying his more attacking role.
“I spoke to the gaffer at the start of the season; he set me a target and we’re working towards it,” said Sawyers.
“He’s given me a bit more licence (to get forward) and I don’t have as many defensive duties as last year. I’m trying to improve my game.
“Goals is the biggest thing; I’ve got four already this season, my tally last year was only five - so I’m only one off it.
“I’ve got to keep pushing, and with the players around me, I’m going to get better and better.”