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Club News


2 December 2016

Striker could be a "monster of a player"...

James O’Connor believes “the sky is the limit” for Saddlers striker Amadou Bakayoko. 

The 20-year-old forward has scored seven goals in 21 appearances this season – although only six of those have been starts. 

His latest strike proved decisive in a surprise 1-0 victory at Sheffield United on Tuesday night – Walsall’s first win in six league outings. 

And O’Connor has paid tribute to the powerful young frontman – stating he has the potential to be a “monster of a player”. 

“That performance [against Sheff Utd] is what we want from him,” said O’Connor. “We want him to affect the opposition. 

“He could be a monster of a player - he’s got all the physical attributes. We keep saying it and we keep saying it, and it’s about when he gets his chances, can he take them? 

“If he does, the sky is the limit for him.” 

Bakayoko was recalled to the Saddlers’ starting line-up for the fruitful trip to Bramall Lane, being deployed up front in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation. 

It was the first time all season that Walsall had employed that system – and O’Connor felt it made a difference. 

“I don’t like to talk about last year because it was a completely different group of players, but it’s something [playing 3-5-2] that gave us another dimension,” said O’Connor. 

“When you’ve got quite a small squad and you’re coming up against different sides with different styles of play, it gives you something else and it gives them something to think about as well. 

“We still had experienced players on the pitch who have played it before, and I think most of the lads have probably played it in different places over the years. 

“We probably didn’t do as well as we could have done with the ball, but without the ball we were fantastic.”

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