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DOWNING CONFIDENT OF A POSITIVE RESPONSE

4 January 2016

Walsall suffered a surprise defeat against Rochdale...

Centre-back Paul Downing is confident Walsall can bounce back quickly from the disappointing 3-0 home defeat against Rochdale.

Ian Henderson’s early opener and Calvin Andrew’s second-half brace condemned the Saddlers to a first reverse in eight competitive matches.

The result also saw us slip to third in League One and ended Sean O’Driscoll’s perfect start since taking over as head coach.

“It’s difficult to put your finger on what went wrong,” admitted Downing.

“We didn’t start the game well enough and conceded a poor goal. I don’t think we ever got to grips with what they offered.

“It was a disappointing result and an all-round frustrating day but it’s up to us now to analyse the game, see what went wrong and look where we can learn and improve.

“We’ve always said that we won’t get too high when we win or too low when we lose, and we’ve reacted positively this season to a defeat so hopefully we can do the same again.

“It's a nice break with the cup now and we’ve got to work hard and get back to it.”

Walsall have responded well to setbacks this season – winning each of their matches following a league defeat.

And Downing is hoping for more of the same when the Saddlers visit former manager Dean Smith's Brentford in the FA Cup third round this weekend.

"It’ll be a good test against a Championship side,” said Downing.

“It’s a big game for the fans and the club as a whole, coming up against the old manager.

“All the pressure will be on them and we’re looking forward to going down there.

“It’ll be a good occasion and an opportunity to showcase our ability.

“There’ll be a lot of our fans there to watch and we want to prove why we’ve been successful so far this season.

“We’ve beaten two Championship teams already this season, so let’s make it a third.”

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