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DOWNING: WE WERE UNLUCKY NOT TO WIN

29 February 2016

Walsall held at league leaders Burton...

Centre-back Paul Downing felt Walsall were “unlucky” not to take all three points from the goalless draw against fellow promotion contenders Burton.

Both sides cancelled each other out for long periods of a cagey top-of-the-table encounter, with clear-cut chances at a premium.

The Saddlers, though, fashioned the game’s best opportunities, with Downing, Romaine Sawyers and Jason Demetriou each testing home keeper Jon McLaughlin.

And although satisfied with a point, Downing felt Walsall could have come away with more.

“It was a good, solid display from us against a good team, who are up there for a reason,” said the central defender.

“I thought it was a good game. We wanted to try to win the game, unfortunately we couldn’t but we’ll take the point.

“I thought we executed our game plan well and had the better chances. We were the ones keeping them penned in and looking to get a winner.

“I thought we were unlucky not to win the game.”

The Saddlers defended stoutly to record their first league clean sheet of 2016, restricting table-topping Burton to few scoring opportunities.

Downing impressed alongside the returning James O’Connor, who was back in the side following a thigh injury.

And Downing admitted he was pleased to have O’Connor back - but praised the whole team for their hard-working defensive display.

“I’ve played a lot of the season with Jimmy and I’ve got a good relationship with him,” said Downing.

“But saying that, I thought it was a good team performance from us defensively.

“The wingers put in a good shift. They put a lot of direct balls into us and Neil in goal collected crosses.

“Overall, it was a solid display.”

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