Keeper handed start in Doncaster win...Walsall goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray is hoping to give head coach Sean O’Driscoll a selection headache by impressing in Neil Etheridge’s absence.
MacGillivray was handed a rare start in the Saddlers’ win at Doncaster after first-choice keeper Etheridge was ruled out with a knee injury.
And with Etheridge likely to also miss Saturday’s match against Millwall, MacGillivray is hoping he can stake a claim for a regular starting role.
“It’s frustrating being on the bench,” said MacGillivray, who has made eight league and cup appearances this term.
“It was nice to play again against Doncaster and when I’m called upon I try to do my best to help the team get a good result.
“I try to make the decision of whether to play me or Neil as difficult as possible for the gaffer.
"Whether Neil was available or not, I would be knocking on the manager’s door and asking to play because we won at Doncaster.
“I want to be playing but whoever plays, the main thing is to pick up points.”
MacGillivray helped Walsall record a 2-1 win at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday night.
Goals from Sam Mantom and Andy Taylor put us in control, and although Liam Mandeville replied for Doncaster, we held on for a crucial win.
“The main thing at this stage of the season is winning games to stay near the top of the table,” MacGillivray added.
“It was a scrappy game but we knew that if we kept it at 0-0 we’d get some chances in the second half.
“A clean sheet would have topped the night off for me and the team, but I’m pleased we won the game.”
The result also saw head coach O’Driscoll make a winning return to his old club Doncaster, where he won promotion from League One in 2008.
The 58-year-old has won six of his 10 matches at Walsall – and MacGillivray says the players have responded well to his methods.
“He’s a completely different person (to ex-boss Dean Smith) but he knows his stuff and he’s gelled with the team,” said the former Harrogate keeper.
“We know what he wants from us and we’ve responded to that.
“We’ve gone on a good run and our away form is still continuing and our home form is good as well.”
Walsall are back on home soil this weekend for the visit of Neil Harris’ sixth-placed Millwall.
And MacGillivray knows the Lions, who have taken 10 points from their last four league matches, will pose a stern test.
“They’ve picked up in recent weeks and are a tough, direct team,” he commented.
“We’ll do our homework on them and try to get another victory on Saturday.”