Walsall Head Coach Brian Dutton praised his players for their work ethic and desire after Saturday’s 1-1 draw away at Stevenage.
The Saddlers took an early lead after Caolan Lavery opened the scoring but they were dealt a blow when Liam Kinsella was sent off early in the second half.
Alex Revell’s side made their advantage count and levelled through Elliott List but Walsall battled well to earn a point.
Dutton was disappointed not to come away with the victory but he was pleased with how his players performed, particularly after the setback.
“For me what they showed is, first and foremost, they’ve got this great work ethic about them and a manful desire to perform for managers and for Walsall Football Club,” Dutton said.
“They gave absolutely everything out there and that’s the baseline for any League Two performance but often players fall short in that regard. You saw it on Saturday, we don’t fall short in that regard.
“I’m disappointed that we’ve not got the win. To go 1-0 up and to be in control, obviously the sending off changes the game so disappointed not to come away with all three points but I couldn’t be more proud with the players and their application.”
Dutton made one change to the team that started in his first game against Cheltenham Town last Tuesday as Emmanuel Osadebe replaced Josh Gordon, who came on as a second half substitute.
The Saddlers boss was pleased with Osadebe’s contribution. He also outlined his vision for his strikers and explained his thinking behind his team selection which saw Gordon start on the bench.
“I see Josh Gordon as a striker, along with Caolan Lavery,” Dutton stated.
“I think he can play out in the wider positions because he’s a talented footballer but he’s a striker for me.
“Between now and the end of the season Josh and Lavs will be dovetailing in that position, Josh will also find himself in other positions but in the main he’s going to play striker, it’s just case of they’re going to have to share minutes.
“I thought Paddy (Osadebe) was like a caged lion ready to let loose on that pitch, I thought he was phenomenal. You see at the end he was cramping up, he gave absolutely everything and it was a manful performance from Paddy as well.”
Attention now turns to Wednesday’s clash with Newport County at the Banks’s Stadium. You can watch the game live on iFollow by purchasing a match pass here.