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27 January 2017

Defender a fan of our new 3-5-1-1 system...

Matt Preston feels the Saddlers' newly-adopted 3-5-1-1 formation suits the way the team wants to play. 

The Saddlers have used the three-at-the-back system in each of the last two matches - comprehensive 4-1 and 3-1 home victories over Sheffield United and Bristol Rovers respectively. 

And Preston believes the change of shape helps us retain possession better and play football out from the back. 

“We feel the formation suits us because we want to play football and pass the ball,” said the 21-year-old. 

“Having more men in midfield allows us to play from the back more as you’ve got more options. 

“Before I felt we were going long a bit too soon and we weren’t keeping it the way we used to. But with five in midfield it gives you options and we’re keeping the ball better now. 

“You’ve got more licence to bring the ball out in a three and you have more responsibility, which I like.

“At times you have to play as a right-back - you have more to think about. 

“When you’re playing as a four, you’ve only got your man. But in a three, the winger could move on your shoulder, or a striker could peel to the side because they know that’s where the space is.

“As a young centre-half it’s good to play in different formations. It’s an education. And it’s great for me to be learning all the time."

After back-to-back wins, Preston and co will be hoping to make it three on the bounce when the Saddlers take on lowly Bury at Gigg Lane tomorrow. 

“When the team is winning the whole place is lifted and everyone is in high spirits,” Preston commented. 

“Belief is important. When you produce a performance like we did against Sheffield United, it gives you belief that we can perform like that again in other games. 

“The more wins you get, the happier everyone is so hopefully we can keep our run going.”

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