The Saddlers can go top with victory over the Railwaymen...WALSALL return to League One action tomorrow afternoon – and manager Dean Smith says everyone is fully focused on maintaining our impressive start to the season against lowly Crewe.
The second-placed Saddlers have lost only once in eight league fixtures and can go top with a win, providing leaders Burton slip up at Chesterfield.
Smith’s men head into the match in high spirits after a creditable performance in Wednesday’s League Cup defeat to Premier League champions Chelsea.
And the Walsall chief believes we can take plenty of encouragement from the match - but admits tomorrow’s opponents Crewe are not a team to be underestimated.
“We played some good stuff against Chelsea and at times we took the game to them,” said Smith.
“We received some glowing praise from Jose (Mourinho) afterwards which was nice, and we can take plenty of pride and satisfaction from that.
“If we can’t take confidence from our performance against the Premier League champions, then we’ll never have any confidence.
“But it will be a tough game against Crewe. I’ve watched them a few times already this season and they’re a very good team this year.
“Their position in the league (23rd) doesn’t reflect their performances and Steve Davis has done a really good job there.
“I won’t have to refocus the players - they are very good mentally now and they know what’s required.
“When we beat Nottingham Forest and Brighton, we followed it up with wins on the Saturday.
“The reward this weekend could be to go top of the league, so we’ll be focused.”
Tom Bradshaw’s stunning late brace gave us a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Doncaster in our last league game at the Banks’s a fortnight ago.
And Smith wants to see more victories in front of our own fans.
“Our form at home is very important and it’s not been bad,” said Smith.
“Over the last 18 months we’ve tended to dominate teams at home and they’ve banked in a lot. We’ve had to find different ways to open doors.
“I know people say that it’s been our Achilles heel (our home form) but we finished last season off really well, winning four games on the spin.
“We’ve performed really well there this season and the win against Doncaster has given everyone a big lift.”
Top-scorer Bradshaw (groin strain) is Walsall’s only injury concern.