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O'DRISCOLL PRAISES WALSALL'S GAME MANAGEMENT

3 February 2016

The Saddlers beat Doncaster 2-1 to go second...

Sean O’Driscoll praised his side’s game management after Walsall beat Doncaster 2-1 to move into the League One automatic promotion places.

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.

A ninth away league victory of the season lifted Walsall up to second – a point behind leaders Burton, who we play later this month.

The result also saw Saddlers head coach O’Driscoll make a winning return to his former club, where he won promotion to the Championship in 2008.

“I thought we were organised and disciplined – the players showed a real determination,” said O’Driscoll.

“We said at half-time that we need to make Doncaster’s back four defend.

“We got the ball wide and got the ball in the box pretty quickly, which we probably didn’t do first half.

“We were quite comfortable at 0-0 but even more comfortable at 2-0 up.



“Credit to them for getting back into it and putting us under some pressure but we learned from the Blackpool game where at 1-0 up we were trying to score the second goal.

“We said afterwards, ‘was that the right thing to do?’

“But I thought we managed the game really well.”

Walsall’s first goal came shortly after the hour mark, when Mantom arrowed a rasping left-footed drive into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

The Saddlers doubled their lead four minutes later, with Taylor firing home (pictured below) following a creative short corner routine involving Romaine Sawyers.

And O’Driscoll revealed he had been encouraging his players to experiment from set pieces.

"The second goal was really good because I keep banging on to the players about trying to do something different from corners,” he said.

"Something rather than just sling the ball into the box as we've only got two or three really good headers of the ball and they are usually tightly marked.

"So it was nice to get something that was a bit more off the cuff and creative.

"The fact that they tried it, I am really pleased. Romaine has got that creative streak in him and I was pleased to see that go in."



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