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Devlin relishing Pompey away day

18 August 2017

Right-back Nicky Devlin is relishing the Saddlers’ trip to Portsmouth this weekend.

Pompey’s home ground, Fratton Park, is one of the biggest and most atmospheric in League One – and the 23-year-old is excited to play there for the first time.

“I can’t wait!” admitted Devlin. “At the start of the season, I came in and we were speaking about the league and everyone said Portsmouth is the best away day.

“I’m really looking forward to it. Every stadium this year is new to me. It’s exciting for everyone.

“I have heard stories about the atmosphere at Portsmouth so I’m looking forward to it, but you can only enjoy those things if you are doing well.

“We need to focus on picking up good results.”

Walsall produced a rousing second-performance to beat Oldham 2-1 last Saturday – our first victory of the season.

And Devlin, the sponsors’ man of the match, says the result has given the whole squad a big confidence boost.

“When you start winning games the place does get more confident,” he commented.

“Even after the Sheffield United game we were upbeat because there were a lot of positives we could take from that game as well.

“Bar a ten-minute spell, we did well. But when you start winning games the place becomes a bit livelier, especially in the dressing room.

“Confidence is back with some of the players and it’s been a good week so far.”

The Saddlers created a host of opportunities against the Latics – and Devlin believes we can take plenty of encouragement from the performance.

“In the second half we had enough chances to win that game and this Saturday’s as well,” said the former Ayr captain.

“In the first half we were taking too many touches, but in the second half we got the ball into the forward players a lot quicker.

“Oldham were happy with us in the first half just moving the ball from side to side.

“But when we sped it up and moved the ball a lot quicker, they didn’t have any answers.

“If we move the ball and play like we did in the second half we will do really well.”

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