Right wing-back has 'thoroughly enjoyed' his time with the club...Jason McCarthy has netted five goals already this term – but the ambitious right wing-back is determined to add more before the season’s end.
The 21-year-old has enjoyed an impressive campaign with the Saddlers since arriving on loan from hometown club Southampton last summer, playing every minute in league and cup.
And McCarthy believes operating on the right-hand side, particularly at wing-back, has allowed him to express his attacking instincts.
“Goals have always been something I’ve been looking to add to my game,” said McCarthy.
“Right-back has always been my preferred position, although Southampton saw me more as a centre-back. I’ve really enjoyed getting back to where I like to play.
“I’ve always said to myself that I’ve got goals in me. This season, especially in the right wing-back role, I’ve found myself in those attacking positions a lot more and it’s been great to get five goals.
“But I want to get six – that was my target at the start of the season – and I’ve got six games to get a couple more, not just one.”
Having played in League Two with Wycombe last year, the defender was keen to test himself in the division above.
And McCarthy, who has made more appearances than any other player in the Walsall squad, says he has loved his time with the Saddlers.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself here,” he commented. “I think it’s been clear for everyone to see.
“I’ve worn my heart on my sleeve and I’ve learned a hell of a lot stepping up from last year being in League Two with Wycombe.
“It’s been the right step up for me. I’ve played every minute or every game and couldn’t have asked for any more.
“I’m playing in a team that play really good football, a really talented side and under a manager who I have a really good rapport with.”
The Saddlers sit 14th in League One having lost the last three matches, all by a solitary goal.
And after a disappointing run of results, McCarthy is desperate to end the season on a positive note – starting with victory against Oxford tomorrow.
“It hurts being 14th,” McCarthy added. “A few weeks ago we were eighth but that is this league - you can jump from one place to another very quickly.
“Some of the results over the past few weeks have been frustrating because we know as a group we can push higher up the table.
“There are still six games to go and anything can happen. We are going to keep going and see where these six games takes us.
“We want to finish the season strong and are determined to finish on a good note.”