Saddlers' unbeaten league start comes to an end...Full-back, Andy Taylor, was left “frustrated” after Walsall suffered a first league defeat of the season against Bury at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday.
The Saddlers dominated proceedings for prolonged periods – boasting 56% possession and registering 15 shots to Bury’s five (via BBC) – only to be undone by Craig Jones’ solitary sixth-minute strike.
Defeat saw Dean Smith’s side slip off top spot and into third in League One.
And although Taylor was pleased with the performance, he believes we must identify more ways to break down defensive, deep-lying opponents.
“We came off at the end feeling frustrated,” said Taylor.
“We felt like we dominated the game, although we didn’t start particularly well, switched off from a throw in, and they got a sucker punch goal.
“After that they sat back, defended and looked to counter attack.
“It was up to us to break them down. We dominated the game possession-wise but we huffed and puffed going forward.
“They came with a game plan and they were very effective doing it. It’s up to us to find solutions to that.
“More importantly, we need to try not to go a goal down because teams can do it.
“Not every team are going to come here and defend as well as they did.
“On another day, we could have won it comfortably, so we can’t get too disappointed."
After an impressive run of six successive victories in all competitions, Walsall have now lost back-to-back matches – against Morecambe (JPT) and Bury.
Despite recent results, Taylor insists it won’t affect the players.
“The secret for us is that we don’t get too carried away - win, lose or draw," he added.
"We had a terrific start to the season but we always knew that eventually we would lose.
"The defeat has come (against Bury) and it’s about how we deal with it and how we move on and go again next Saturday.”
The Bury game was the Saddlers’ ninth competitive fixture in just 29 days.
And after such a hectic Saturday-Tuesday schedule, Taylor admits the squad are relieved to have some much-needed recovery time ahead of the weekend match with Doncaster.
“Quite a few of the lads are looking forward to a midweek off!” said Taylor.
“During all these games, you pick up little niggles and you’re playing with them. It’ll be nice to have a week off to let those niggles settle down and get into the weekend feeling a little bit fresher.
“It’s a hell of a schedule and we’ve only got a smallish squad so it’s a big ask.
“But if you take the nine-game block, we’re delighted with it.
“Now, it’s a time to rest and recover, and go again for the next block of games.”