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PENNINGTON RELISHING SADDLERS’ PROMOTION PUSH

19 April 2016

Defender enjoying loan stay...

Centre-back Matthew Pennington says he is relishing being part of Walsall's push for promotion.

The 21 year-old has started each of the Saddlers’ last four matches since signing on loan from Everton in March.

Walsall are just three points off the automatic promotion places, with a game in hand, heading into the final five games of the campaign.

And Pennington is enjoying playing for a team who are competing at the top end of the division.

"It's brilliant to be involved in a promotion race – I've not experienced that side of this league before,” said Pennington, who has also played in League One for Coventry and Tranmere.

"I've been in a couple of relegation dogfights so it's a nice change and a different challenge for me.

“And looking at the results at the weekend, a few of them went our way so it's exciting times to be here.

"I'm really enjoying it and the lads have been great with me. They’ve settled me in straight away and made me feel at home so I'm happy.

"The quality is very good here and the lads play football, which is the main reason I came here.

“It's a club on the up, challenging for promotion and they play good stuff as well so it was a big attraction for me."

The ex-England U19 international impressed during the Saddlers’ 1-0 win at Southend on Saturday, producing an assured display in the heart of defence.

Jordy Hiwula’s 88th-minute header proved the difference – and Pennington was full of praise his side’s persistence.

“The lads dug in and I thought we deserved the win,” he said.

“We had a lot of chances but it’s always hard when the opposition get a lot of men behind the ball. I thought we could have scored more and their keeper made some excellent saves.

“But Jordy manages to get the goal at the end and it was a massive win for us. It was nice to keep a clean sheet as well – my first since I came here!”

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