Jon Whitney was encouraged by his side’s second-half performance in the 2-1 home defeat by league leaders Blackburn.
A Danny Graham double put table-topping Rovers in the ascendancy, but a Jack Fitzwater effort on the stroke of half-time gave the Saddlers hope.
Walsall bossed the second half, with Erhun Oztumer and Julien Ngoy each testing visiting custodian David Raya, but Tony Mowbray’s men held on for all three points.
“We’ve got to take positives from the second half,” said the boss.
“We outplayed and outbattled a team who I think are the best in the league.
“It would have been great if we had got that equaliser, but we can move still move forward with confidence after the second half.
“The energy in the second half, and in the first half against Doncaster, is how I see my team playing. Some of the one and two touch play was fantastic.
“Maz Kouhyar came on and was really good – he played like an experienced League One player.
“George [Dobson] got man of the match but there were some other good performances out there.
“Julien [Ngoy] was a threat up top when he came on and I thought we were unfortunate not to get an equaliser.”
Although pleased with the second-half display, Whitney was disappointed with how his side performed in the first half.
“We were tentative in the first half and didn’t do the basics as well as them,” Whitney added.
“They got the first hits in – we did against Doncaster but they did it to us.
“Graham was unplayable in periods in that first half – he showed why, for me, he’s the best number nine in this league and can still play much higher.
“It was a good experience for our young team to play against him and [Adam] Armstrong, who was a threat.
“We got the goal back and we started the second half much better but couldn’t get that second goal.”