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Dutton pleased with defensive display

6 April 2021

Walsall Head Coach Brian Dutton was pleased with his team’s defensive performance as they kept their second successive clean sheet against Leyton Orient on Easter Monday.

The draw was the Saddlers’ fourth on the spin but there was plenty of signs of encouragement at the Breyer Group Stadium.

Dutton praised his players for their effort and attitude and while he was disappointed they were unable to get the win he felt they deserved, he was pleased to come away with another clean sheet.

“A clean sheet is something that we strive for,” Dutton said.

“We’re not free-flowing, we’re not scoring plenty of goals so we’ve got to keep that back door shut and try and win games on the one-nils or the two-nils so I was really pleased with the defensive performance from the lads, you couldn’t have asked for more from them. They put their bodies on the line, defended manfully and they deserved their clean sheet.

“We’re coming up against a team that has won four on the bounce, we nullified them and stopped them being that potent, attacking threat that they’ve shown to be so credit to our boys for that. We obviously want to hurt them up the other end, which we weren’t able to do but it’s a pleasing defensive performance.

“The pressing from the front was fantastic. We’re a team that defends from the front and I thought that was fantastic.

“I’m sure Tyreik Wright’s running stats will be through the roof, it was unbelievable from him and Manny (Osadebe). The amount of effort out on that pitch, you couldn’t ask for more from the boys in terms of effort and attitude because they’re running through brick walls for Walsall Football Club so it’s difficult to be too disappointed with them.

“I’m gutted they haven’t managed to get that win that they deserved but it’s hard to be too disappointed with them.”

Dutton welcomed back Hayden White from suspension while Rory Holden played 45 minutes after he replaced Caolan Lavery who was forced off with an injury.

Jack Rose also came into the side for the first time since December and Dutton revealed the reason behind the change in goal.

“Robbo had got an injury prior to the game so he wasn’t able to start the game,” he explained.

“Jack Rose has been champing at the bit, banging on my door relentlessly and he’s got his opportunity and he’s taken it because I thought he had a positive game. He looked commanding, calm and composed – even when he decided to take on attacking players but really pleased with Jack.”

The Saddlers now turn their attention to Saturday’s game against Forest Green Rovers.

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