Walsall boss Darrell Clarke believes Boxing Day opponents Salford City will be ‘there or thereabouts’ come the end of the season.
The Saddlers travel to the Peninsula Stadium on Saturday hoping to stretch their winning run in the league to five matches.
Clarke is expecting a difficult match against Richie Wellens’ team who he expects to do well this season.
“Salford were everyone’s favourites to go up out of the division this year, they’ve got tremendous financial resources there,” said Clarke.
“I think what the owners have done for that football club is great, a local town team.
“I know there’s a lot of bitterness towards them but I don’t feel that. I feel that they have got high ambitions to take that football club forward and they’re going to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season with the quality in their squad and quality of their manager.
“They’re an ambitious football club that want to get through the divisions very quickly and they won’t be standing still so we know we’re in for a tough test.”
The Saddlers are currently six unbeaten and are eighth in Sky Bet League Two, level on points with their upcoming opponents who occupy seventh position.
Clarke feels both clubs have different strategies and he has been pleased to see development within his squad as well as a sense of togetherness throughout the entire club.
“We’ve got big clubs on our doorstep but we’ve got a passionate support base, a passionate Chairman, directors and CEO, everyone is really passionate and together at the football club,” explained Clarke.
“We’re all singing off the same page, we all want to bring success and win football games and do it the right way.
“We’re playing a team on Saturday who do it a different way, we do it in a development way. We work with the players and there’s been a lot of individual improvements within the players and they can see the togetherness in the football club and hopefully they’re enjoying their football.”
You can watch the game against Salford City on Boxing Day live on iFollow by purchasing a match pass here.