Winger calls for Walsall to repeat Port Vale display...Anthony Forde believes Walsall will have a “great chance” of overcoming Barnsley in the League One play-offs if they can replicate their five-star performance against Port Vale.
The Irish winger scored twice – including a spectacular 30-yard rocket into the top corner – as the rampant Saddlers ran out 5-0 winners at Vale Park.
The impressive victory wasn’t enough for Walsall to secure automatic promotion, though, as Burton earned the point they needed at Doncaster to finish second.
Jon Whitney’s side must now prepare for a two-legged play-off semi-final against Paul Heckingbottom’s Barnsley, with the first-leg to be played at Oakwell this Saturday (KO: 5.30pm).
But Forde insists confidence is high among the Walsall ranks, especially after Sunday’s stunning five-goal success.
"We were very good against Port Vale, brilliant even,” said Forde.
“Unfortunately it wasn't quite enough to make the top two but it's the play-offs now and we’re looking forward to that.
"We did everything we could do. To beat Port Vale 5-0, we can only be proud and we now have to take that performance into the Barnsley game.
"It's going to be a good game. They are a good side but we are a good side – and we will be in with a great chance if we continue to play like that.
“Hopefully on Saturday we can perform as well as we did at Port Vale.”
Victory over the Valiants was Walsall’s third in succession – all of which coming after the 4-0 reverse at Bradford last month.
And Forde believes everyone deserves credit for reacting to that setback in such a positive manner.
“We have responded really well,” he said. “We knew going into the Shrewsbury game we needed a big performance.
“We did it and that set us up for Fleetwood and Port Vale. Every player, every fan, everyone involved should be proud of those performances and how we have finished the season.”
Forde was also keen to sing the fans’ praises for their “unbelievable” backing at Vale Park.
“The support was unbelievable,” Forde added. “From the minute we came out for the warm-up, they were signing – and they never stopped until the end.
“Fair play to everyone who made the effort to come down - it really makes a difference.”