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O'Connor: We can learn from last season

19 June 2017

James O’Connor believes last season was a “big learning curve” for the players but feels the experience should stand us in good stead.

The Saddlers ended an indifferent 2016/17 season in 14th place, with 58 points.

And the 32-year-old says some valuable lessons can be learned heading into the new League One campaign.

“Last season was a big learning curve,” said the former Doncaster centre-back.

“It wasn’t the most ideal of circumstances to go into the season with a new squad.

“We had a big turnaround of players and it made it tough at times – but those tough times should stand us in good stead moving forward.

“Sometimes you can learn more from difficult times and hopefully that will be the case.

“There were some good points last year and some bad points – it was a mixed bag.

“But you can always learn from the experience and as a team, and as individuals, it’s important we do that.

“We’ve got to learn from our mistakes, and learn from the good things we did as well, and take it all into next year.”

O’Connor recently attended one of manager Jon Whitney’s close-season training sessions in a bid to maintain fitness.

And the experienced defender says he, and his teammates, have been sensible this summer in order to remain in peak condition.

“We’ve all kept ticking over with our schedules during the close season to keep ourselves in decent shape,” O’Connor added.

“The way the game is now, gone are the days when players would go away, put a couple of stone on and drink themselves senseless!

“It’s all in moderation now. To give yourself the best chance of doing well, getting off to a flier and maintaining good levels throughout the year, it’s important you look after yourself.”

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