John Ward had mixed emotions after the Saddlers’ Development Squad were beaten 3-0 at home to Port Vale.
Goals from Jack Stobbs, Dan Turner and Anthony de Freitas earned the Valiants a comfortable victory in the opening match of the 2017/18 Central League North season.
And while disappointed with the result, Ward was pleased with the effort of his players and felt it was a good test for some of them to play in different positions.
“I went through a number of emotions,” said Walsall’s Professional Development Coach.
“I was really pleased with the way we set about the game and pleased at half-time even though we were a goal down.
“We had people in positions they hadn’t played in before but they coped with it pretty well in that period.
“The first team changed their shape and formation at the weekend and were successful with it.
“The manager wanted to see that with this group and we had a short time to work on it.
“We asked the players to dig in and have a go at it. We chopped and changed but that’s all part of what we’re trying to do.
“We want to win and do well but the learning curve is there for some of the players when they’re asked to play somewhere different. It gives information for the coaching staff as well.
“We were disappointed with the scoreline but there was a lot of effort and we learned quite a bit about the players we put out there.”