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DEVELOPMENT SQUAD: WARD DELIGHTED BY PLAYERS ATTITUDE

14 March 2016

Coach heaps the praise on development squad starlets…

Professional Development Coach, John Ward has praised his players for their "approach and attitude" after recording a 1-0 win over Burton Albion. 

Ward named a young development squad for Monday's fixture in Derbyshire and was impressed by the way they dealt with the ‘blustery conditions and bumpy pitch’. 

Second half-substitute, Cameron Peters scored the decisive goal ten minutes from time to earn the Saddlers a hard-fought victory and Ward was pleased with what he saw.

“Attitude over mind was the order of the day today,” said Ward. “The players applied themselves extremely well in terms of dealing with situation and conditions. 

“That the thing which pleased me most and to come through the game with a good win as well always makes the players feel better about themselves.

“A lot of the boys played on Saturday for youth team so this was their second game in three days but I’m very pleased with how they took instruction on board. 

“We played when could and had to defend when we had to as well. Our decision-making was really good in tough conditions. 

“The goal come from a super run by Sam Tonks who pulls a ball back and it’s a smart finish from Cameron Peters who had only come on a few minutes earlier. 

“It’s never easy when you come up against tough conditions but it’s part of your development as a 15, 16, 17 year old. When you’re a senior player playing a full season, 30 of those games will be when you have to dig in and probably 16 when play quite well. 

“Jon [Whitney] is here with Neil Cutler and Neil Woods and they’ll be making decisions. The players know that and it’s what the club is doing at the moment. 

“So massive respect to those guys that they’re here watching and encouraging the boys." 

Ward, who is juggling his development responsibilities with assisting Jon Whitney on first team matters, insists he’s enjoying his makeshift role and advises when necessary.

“It’s absolutely fine,” he added. “I’m doing what I enjoy doing and Jon and Cuts come to me if they want to talk about a certain issue. 

“This is what I’m about and at the moment looking after the clutch of under 21’s is important and I’m happy to balance my role.”

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