Gaffer anticipating a tough fixture...WALSALL boss, Dean Smith, is anticipating a tough fixture against newly-promoted Bury at the Banks’s Stadium this weekend.
Smith’s men sit top of League One with 13 points from a possible 15, while David Flitcroft’s Shakers are in 17th position and without a win in the league this season.
Despite being winless, Bury have been in fine goalscoring form – scoring in each of their eight competitive matches – including three against both Fleetwood (3-4) and Crewe (3-3).
And speaking ahead of the League One clash, Smith has admitted that he is wary of the Shakers’ attacking threat.
“They’ve had a strange start,” said Smith.
“They’ve not won a game yet but have scored ten goals in five games – two goals a game - which takes some doing.
“It looks like we’re probably going to have to outscore them to win the game!
“They got promoted last season so they’ve got some momentum.
“David Flitcroft has done a good job there and it will be a tough game for us.”
Smith will be looking for a positive reaction after Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat to Morecambe in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – our first reverse of the season.
The gaffer was left frustrated by the outcome, but believes it won’t disrupt his team’s momentum.
“I was disappointed with the result but not the performance,” said Smith.
“They might have been in a league below us but to create 26 opportunities against them is some feat.
"The only thing different to other games was that we didn’t take our chances.
"They scored two really good goals and it was disappointing to go out, especially after the run we had last season (reaching the JPT final).
"But we’re not going to let it affect our momentum - the players and the staff will make sure of that.
"The momentum has been really good and we continued that in terms of the performance (at Morecambe).
"If we play like that again, very few teams will stop us.”
Defeat to Morecambe halted a magnificent run of six successive victories in all competitions for the Saddlers.
Nevertheless, it has been our best start to a league campaign – at this level – in 15 years.
And with the League One leaders targeting a third straight home win this Saturday, Smith has put our impressive form down to a growing maturity within the squad.
“The maturation of the younger players has been important, as has the continuity of having a lot of the team together for a number of years,” commented Smith.
“They’ve got the motivation now and know enough about each other to drive each other on.
"There is a desire there to be successful and a will to win, which has produced results which is really pleasing.
"It’s been quite easy as a manager because I’ve been able to pick teams knowing that I'll get everything from them.”
Smith has a fully fit squad to choose from for Saturday’s match.