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Dutton: "We want to get on the front foot"

9 April 2021

Walsall Head Coach Brian Dutton is keen to see his team show authority when they take on Forest Green Rovers tomorrow afternoon.

The Saddlers have drawn their last four games and will be looking to build on two encouraging performances against Harrogate Town and Leyton Orient.

Dutton has called on all of his players to help chip in on the goal front and to play on the front foot like they did against Harrogate at the Banks’s Stadium last week.

“That’s how we want to play,” Dutton said.

“We want to get on the front foot and we want authority.

“It’s A, B, C. We need to go from abject, which was fair when I came in, to confident.

In between the two is B for belief and we need that belief. I feel like the belief is coming. We’re on the back of positive performances and positive defensive performances where we’re keeping them out with clean sheets so the belief is coming and once we do get that belief, then we get the confidence.

On the goals, it’s not all down to the strikers. We defend from the front and attack from the back. There are other guys that need to chip in. The wingers need to bring more goals, the centre midfielders – Sam Perry, he scored a fantastic goal with his weaker foot at Bolton and I haven’t seen him have a shot since, I’ve seen him have one shot.

“He’s unbelievable but needs to start showing his authority now, not rest on his laurels. Go score some more goals, he’s got it in the locker.

“Hayden White and Max Melbourne have more gears to go up. I’ve seen them take on full-backs, take on wingers two or three times a game but they should be doing it six or seven times a game because they’re so talented. Set pieces, I don’t think you’ll see a better set piece delivery from Emmanuel Osadebe or Tyreik Wright in the league, they put in fantastic deliveries into the box so we need guys attacking them to score some goals.

“It’s unfair to just comment on the strikers, we need goals from all aspects of the game and that’s what we’re pushing for.”

Forest Green head to the Banks’s Stadium on a poor run of form – without a win in five but Dutton is still expecting to face a strong Rovers side.

“We can’t be complacent,” insists Dutton.

“Forest Green have had a little blip but potentially a wounded animal. They are at the top of the table fighting for automatic promotion because they’ve got the quality, the strength in dept and a fantastic manager who has been really consistent in delivering an attacking, entertaining football team that challenges at the top of the table year after year.

"We can’t be complacent in this fixture; we’re preparing for the best possible Forest Green and if we don’t, we’ll get a bloody nose.”

Watch tomorrow’s game live on iFollow by purchasing a match pass here.


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