Walsall remain in automatic promotion contention...Head coach Jon Whitney paid tribute to his players after Walsall kept their automatic promotion hopes alive with a comfortable 3-1 victory over struggling Fleetwood.
The Saddlers started like a train, with Tom Bradshaw sweeping home a stunning second-minute opener and Paul Downing doubling the lead with an 18th-minute volley from Anthony Forde’s corner.
Romaine Sawyers’ low right-footed strike made it 3-0 just before the hour-mark, before substitute Devante Cole curled in a late consolation for the visitors.
An 11th home victory of the campaign leaves Walsall three points behind second-placed Burton heading into the season’s final day on Sunday.
“Our intention was to keep it going for as long as we can,” said Whitney. “I said to the lads that I’ve just got a feeling something is going to happen this year.
“We’ve given ourselves an opportunity to do something quite special. We’re going to try to keep it going. We’ve got momentum now.
“Burton know they can’t switch off – they have to get back on it and start to push for next week.
“Credit to the boys for the performance. The first 25 minutes was absolutely outstanding against a team who I respect really highly.
“We were so disciplined with our performance. Our energy and work ethic was a credit to the boys.
“We’ve got to get wins and it was a fantastic achievement from the boys. We’re going to carry it forward to next week and see where it takes us.”
The Saddlers looked dangerous from set-pieces throughout – and Whitney revealed his side had practicing them in training.
“We spent quite a bit of time on Sunday working on set-pieces,” he added. “We’re known as this open, fast tempo footballing team but we realised that our dead ball game had to improve.
“I got promoted at Lincoln with John Beck just on dead balls so if we can add that to our game it gives us another threat – and we showed that against Fleetwood.”