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LAIRD DELIGHTED WITH SADDLERS’ DEFENSIVE RESOLVE

29 December 2016

Defender hoping for more clean sheets...

Left-back Scott Laird was delighted with his side’s defensive resolve in the Boxing Day win at Port Vale. 

The Scunthorpe loanee netted the only goal in a richly-deserved 1-0 victory – our seventh win and sixth shut-out of the League One campaign. 

While pleased to get on the scoresheet, the 28-year-old was more satisfied with the clean sheet - and hopes there will be plenty more to come in the second half of the season. 

“It was a good team performance, a battling performance against a good Port Vale side who don’t lose many games at home,” said Laird. 

“We had to be at our best, especially defensively in the last 20-30 minutes, to see the game out. 

“It was great to get the goal but getting the clean sheet was massive for us as it was something we had been working really hard for. 

“They threw caution to the wind and put a lot of bodies up – I think they were playing five or six up front by the end. 

“But to a man we defended resolutely and put our bodies on the line. I think their first shot came in the 75th minute and the crowd sarcastically cheered them, which is testament to us. 

“It shows we put in a solid performance. Hopefully now in the second half of the season we can keep a few more clean sheets and climb up the league.” 

The decisive moment at Vale Park came on 27 minutes when Laird took down Isaiah Osbourne’s cross on his chest before coolly slotting past Ben Alnwick at his near post. 

“I may have looked calm but I wasn’t in my head,” said the former Preston man, who has now netted three goals in Saddlers colours. 

“In my head I was thinking ‘don’t muck it up, don’t muck it up’. I’ve got into those positions before so I tried to take my time and not rush it. 

“I saw a little gap and passed it into the net. It was great to see it hit the back of the net, I ran away and didn’t know what to do, so I just slid on the floor!”

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