Walsall boss Darrell Clarke praised his team’s mentality as he watched his 10-man Saddlers hold on to victory at home to Leyton Orient.
Josh Gordon gave the Saddlers the lead in the first half before Cameron Pring was given a second yellow card as the hosts were reduced to 10 men.
Clarke was frustrated with his team following Sunday’s defeat to Carlisle United but was delighted with the response after the red card against the O’s.
“I was very critical of my team the other day, going down to 10 men,” Clarke said.
“It’s not a habit we want to get into by the way, but full credit to my boys today.
“I’ll not say the first word but they went to brick houses.
“I use the word a lot but the focus and mentality has to be spot on when you’re in those backs to the walls situations.
“I thought we did it superbly today.
“I can’t remember Robbo (Liam Roberts) having a serious save to make if I’m honest.
“The work throughout the team was there for all to see.”
Walsall were backed by fantastic support on New Year’s Day as the Saddlers fans sang their hearts out to help the team get over the line.
Clarke praised the supporters and felt they played a key role in achieving three points.
“To be fair I have to give my fans massive credit today because I thought they were outstanding and helped us to achieve the win.
“They haven’t had a lot to shout about for a long period of time and I thought they got behind the boys superbly today with our backs against the wall.
“We’re really pleased for them and we appreciate that.”
The Saddlers now turn their attention to Saturday’s trip to Salford City.
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