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Taylor confident in his players ahead of Hartlepool trip

20 August 2021

Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor is confident the quality of his players will start to come to fruition on the pitch.

The Saddlers will be looking to earn their first victory of the 2021/22 season when they take on Hartlepool United at Victoria Park tomorrow afternoon.

Taylor has been pleased with what he has seen in training and with the competition he has in his squad but insists the team will have to earn the right on the day to pick up a result on Saturday in what he feels will be another tough test.

“Every game at this level of football will be difficult,” Taylor said.

“We’ve got to earn the right first and foremost to compete in the game and once we do that, I’m confident in our players that their qualities will come through.

“As a group we’ve trained extremely well and the players are driving each other on, there’s competition in the squad for the starting jersey and that’s what you want as a coach. You want to see the players day in, day out pushing each other.

“When the game comes, the ones who are lucky enough to get on the pitch from the start have got to go and deliver because if they don’t, we’ve got a squad of players that are hungry and want to play so I’m really happy with where the squad is at the moment, I’d just like for us to take those opportunities that we create.”

Hartlepool will be looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat away at Barrow as they look for successive home victories at the start of the season.

Taylor expects a buoyant atmosphere at Victoria Park, particularly with around 300 Saddlers fans expected to make the trip but the Head Coach insists his players must maintain their professionalism.

“It’s almost blocking it out and being so professional in your approach to the game that it becomes noise and it becomes noise that helps in terms of our performance and channels our players because we’re going to have noise as well by the way as we’re going to have our supporters there,” he explained.

“It’s a long trip and what I think is paramount is that our players go out and put in a performance for our loyal fans that have travelled. It’s something we’ve spoken about before is that we’ve got to go and reward the fans.

“The players are desperate to succeed and the game on Saturday is a game we can approach in a positive manner, be aggressive in terms of team selection, be aggressive with the way that we set the team up because I think we’re a good team.

“We must be high on confidence; I know the players haven’t won a competitive league game this season but I watched the quality of training and I’m really impressed so now it’s a case that the players deliver that on a regular basis on a matchday.”


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