The Saddlers play the Alex tomorrow...Sean O’Driscoll is expecting another challenging fixture for his high-flying Walsall side when they visit improving Crewe this weekend.
Steve Davis’ Alex are third bottom of League One, four points from safety, but are unbeaten in their last four league matches.
During that sequence, the Railwaymen have beaten Rochdale and recorded creditable draws against Wigan, Bury and Millwall.
O’Driscoll has been impressed with the balance of Crewe’s team in recent weeks – and admits it might not be the best time to play them.
“They’re unbeaten in four so they’re probably in far better shape now than they have been throughout the season,” said the 58-year-old.
“They’ve got a really nice balance.
“It’s strange that they sold one of their better players (forward Ryan Colclough to Wigan) and then all of a sudden, the make-up and balance of the team looks really settled.
“We would have liked to have played them when they were on a bad run rather than a good one.
“But we’re a team now that everybody will prepare for and treat seriously.
“Like all games, it’ll be a difficult one away from home but we’ve got to be ready for it and be consistent in what we do.”
O’Driscoll confirmed that goalkeeper Neil Etheridge should be fit for the Crewe match, having recovered from a gashed knee.
Top-scorer Tom Bradshaw was withdrawn with an ankle injury in last weekend’s defeat against Millwall and will be assessed.
Walsall’s medical staff are also awaiting the scan results of goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray, who hasn’t trained this week due to a shoulder problem.
Midfielder Isaiah Osbourne remains on the sidelines with a knee injury.