Walsall boss Darrell Clarke believes Boxing Day opponents Scunthorpe United have a squad capable of finishing in the top seven.
After a difficult start to the season, Scunthorpe have climbed into the top half after a run of one defeat in 12 league games.
Clarke insists the Saddlers will go up to Glanford Park full of confidence and he’s relishing the challenge.
“They’ve got big name players, decent salaries and on paper, they’ve got one of the top seven squads but you don’t win football games on paper,” Clarke said.
“Paul Hurst has got a good tune out of them but we’ve got to go there full of confidence, I know their fans will be up for it but we’ll have a good attendance and it’s another game where we’ll look to put on a good performance.”
The Saddlers have also had a fairly difficult start to the campaign but after a six game losing run in October, they’ve gone on to lose just one of their next 10 games.
Clarke sees some similarities between the two clubs and feels the Saddlers have made some progress.
“I think for a long period of time, 10 or 12 games that we have got stronger as a group,” he added.
“people can pick their own bones out of that but I feel like we are getting there.
“You build a platform, that’s what he (Hurst) is trying to do there and that’s what I’m trying to do here.
“There’s bumps along the way but if you keep together, siege mentality and belief. He has got some good players and I’m looking forward to the game.”