Walsall defender Mat Sadler believes the gap between non-league and the league has decreased in recent years and is expecting a tough test from Darlington.
The Saddlers begin their Emirates FA Cup campaign against the National League North side at the Banks’s Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Sadler feels there won’t be too much difference between the two sides and is keen to begin a run of four consecutive home games with a victory and progression in the FA Cup.
“It’s the next game but it’s one we’re desperate to win in front of our home fans,” he said.
“We have four consecutive home games and the first opportunity to win a football match is on Saturday.
“There’s that added spice of it being in the FA Cup against a team from a couple of divisions below but we all see now with the way non-league football is, that there are good teams down there and I’m sure they are full time at Darlington so they are no mugs and we know it will be a tough game.
“I think the gap is now smaller, teams are professional in those leagues and that’s their jobs so I don’t think that can fail to bring the level closer.
“You see a lot of clubs get promoted from the National League that they come up and do really well in the league the next season so without doubt the standard in the National League and National League North is good.”
Despite Walsall’s recent losing run, Sadler insist the team maintain belief and he feels a winning run isn’t too far away.
“A good run is never too far around the corner and you have to keep believing that so it’s not hard to keep positive because that’s your job,” Sadler commented.
“You all go through spells of not winning football matches but it’s always important to reset after every single one. You will hear managers across the country say that they’ve got to keep an even keel and a level head through all the good runs and the bad runs.”
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s cup tie. Call the ticket office on 01922 651 414/416 or by visiting our e-ticketing site to purchase.
Tickets are priced £12 Adults, £6 Concessions and £15 for a family ticket.