Walsall Academy boss Miguel Llera believes he has a ‘really competitive’ squad that can compete with anyone at his disposal.
The Saddlers Under 18s got back to winning ways on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Port Vale thanks to Ade Francis’ brace.
Llera has welcomed a handful of players back from injury and feels his squad is in a strong position for the final run-in after struggling in recent weeks.
“We have been really struggling with the centre back situation,” he said.
“Even on Saturday Danny Coogan had to play out of position at centre back. We had to fill the Youth Team with Under 15s so it’s a big difference in years but when the squad is fully fit, we have a really competitive team.
“I was really pleased for Joe Foulkes, he played 50 minutes and I was pleased to see him back fit.
“However, we’re disappointed because Luke Zona is injured and is going to be out for six weeks. We thought he could have had a broken ankle but fortunately it’s not, it’s a ligament problem. There were some really good individual performances (on Saturday) and I was very pleased.”
Llera saw his side bounce back from a run of three consecutive defeats with victory on Saturday and was impressed with how his side overcame the challenge Port Vale posed to them.
“I was really pleased,” he added.
“It was a really good performance and we managed the game really well. Over the 90 minutes I thought we were the better team.
“It was difficult to play against them because they were sitting back, a new scenario for the lads to deal with.
“I think we managed the game really well; we moved the ball well and we created chances. I was really pleased with the team performance and individual performance. It’s a huge improvement for the squad when Sam Perry or Joe Willis are with them.”