Gaffer relishing Chelsea clash...WALSALL boss Dean Smith has challenged his players to make history by beating Capital One Cup holders Chelsea tomorrow evening.
The Saddlers are in the League Cup third round for the first time in 13 years after overcoming Championship sides Brighton and Nottingham Forest.
Our reward is a mouth-watering ‘David versus Goliath’ clash against the reigning Premier League champions at the Banks’s Stadium.
And although Walsall are huge underdogs, Smith is looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a great draw for the football club,” said Smith.
“For me personally, I think it’s a really tough draw - but an exciting one.
“We want to get through to the next round of the cup and it would be a fantastic scalp for us. We’re going to have to be very, very good on the night.
“For these lads, it’s their chance to make a bit of history for themselves and for this football club.
“We always talk about opportunities and about being ready to take them, and I’m sure these lads will be.”
Jose Mourinho’s Blues won the League Cup for a fifth time after defeating Tottenham 2-0 in the Wembley final in March.
And Smith says they will be hungry to retain the trophy.
“Chelsea want to win competitions,” Smith added. “They won the League Cup last year and they’ll be looking to win it again.
“I watched them live against Shrewsbury in the Capital One Cup last season, they had a strong team out there and I’m expecting the same again. Whoever they put in, it will be a strong team.
“Chelsea are also the Premier League champions, but they got knocked out of the FA Cup last season by Bradford at home.
“That is the beauty of football and why cup ties capture the imagination because shocks can happen.
“We are hoping that we can get one now.”
League One Bradford came from two goals down to win 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in a remarkable FA Cup shock in January.
Smith would love a repeat result tomorrow night, although he hasn’t asked Bantams boss Phil Parkinson for any advice.
“I texted him after the Chelsea game to congratulate him on the win,” said Smith.
“It was a fantastic result for them. We played Bradford a few weeks later and he told me how magnanimous Jose was after the game.
“But I haven’t spoken to him since the draw was made.
“We feel we’ve got a different way of playing to other teams so I think it would be wrong to call another manager and ask how they beat them because they’ve got different players to what we have.
“We know what we’re about and we’ve got an identity at the club in how we play.
“We’ll be looking to play on the same lines against Chelsea.”