Defender grabbed his fourth goal of the season against the Spireites...A delighted Scott Laird hailed his side’s progress as “unbelievable” after the Saddlers’ 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Chesterfield.
The 28-year-old scored the game’s only goal nine minutes into the second half when he turned home Joe Edwards’ corner from close range.
The result lifted Jon Whitney’s men up to eighth in League One and Laird has been impressed with the team’s overall progress this term, particularly the improvement from dead balls.
“We work very hard on set pieces and, as a team this season, the progression we have made is unbelievable – in every area of our game,” he said.
“The gaffer has worked us really hard on set-pieces as that was something we were lacking in the first half of the season because we weren’t looking threatening.
“But from Christmas onwards, we’ve looked very dangerous from set-pieces and I’d be interested to know how many set-piece goals we’ve scored in the last three of four months.”
Laird’s goal was his fourth of the campaign, putting him one behind defensive colleague Jason McCarthy – who he is eager to catch – and earning him another £1 goal bonus off his grandma!
“In the celebrations, I was reminding Jase that I’m coming back to catch him!” joked Laird.
“I’ll be heading home after the game so I’ll get a pound off my grandma and I’ll post a picture of that on social media.”
Which he did…
Victory against Chesterfield extended the Saddlers’ winning home run to six matches – and Laird has been encouraged by our recent performances.
“It was a great win because these are the hardest games – playing teams who are fighting for their lives,” he commented.
“But over the last six home games we’ve put in some great performances.
“The expectation has risen, but I think we’ve thrived off that and we’re going into the last ten games now with real momentum.”
The former Preston man has started the Saddlers’ last two matches, having had to make do with a place on the bench for the previous nine.
And Laird has no intention on losing his starting berth anytime soon.
“I went back to Scunthorpe, didn’t train for two weeks before the Sheffield United game, and since then the boys have been absolutely on fire,” he said.
“They’ve been brilliant and I’ve had to wait my time. I’m back in now and I’ve got to be on my game every single minute to keep the boys out of the team, because that’s what they did to keep me out.
“It’s my turn now to keep on it, try to score a few more goals, keep a few more clean sheets and make sure the gaffer keeps picking me.”