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Hardy aiming for starting berth after debut goal

12 August 2019

Walsall midfielder James Hardy is aiming to nail down a regular starting place after scoring on his EFL debut.

Hardy was the hero for the Saddlers as he came off the bench to net the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Forest Green Rovers at the weekend.

The 23-year-old is now hoping to become a regular in the starting XI and was delighted to have opened his account in the EFL.

“It was my football league debut so to get the goal was extra special,” said Hardy.

“I didn’t know what to do after I scored, I was absolutely buzzing.

“I don’t want to be known as a super sub.

“I want to get my name on the team sheet but when I’m on the bench there’s no point sulking.

“If you do get your chance you’ve got to try and help the team and I thought all three subs did well and made an impact.”

Hardy had a couple of chances prior to his goal and provided the Saddlers real impetus in attack after his introduction.

He can play in a number of positions but prefers a more central role although playing is his main priority.

“As long as I’m playing, I’m happy,” Hardy insisted.         

 “My preferred position is in the hole as a number 10.

“I can play out wide, left or right. I’m not an out and out winger who will knock and run but I’ll come in and create problems with overloads and combination play.”

The Saddlers turn their attentions to the Carabao Cup as Crawley Town visit the Banks’s Stadium in the first round.

Hardy will also be making his bow in the competition if selected and is hoping the Saddlers can go on a cup run this season.

“I’ve never played in the Carabao Cup but I played in the FA Cup with Fylde and for us to get a League One side was great. If we could get through a few rounds and play one of the big teams it would be an unbelievable experience.

“Every game you want to win because it builds momentum and the winning spirit in the dressing room. If we can get a good cup run, you never know who you could play so it would all be a positive.

“I’ve never played in the Carabao Cup. I played in the FA Cup with Fylde.

“If we can get through a few rounds and play one of the big teams it would be an unbelievable experience.”

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