Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor was impressed with how ruthless his team were against Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday.
The Saddlers put five past the National League North side at Aggborough thanks to goals from Emmanuel Osadebe, Conor Wilkinson, Kieran Phillips and Brendan Kiernan.
Despite a five-star showing, Taylor insists there is still plenty of work to be done but he was happy with what he saw and felt the goals gave the players a confidence boost after a quiet start.
“I thought the first 20-25 minutes we didn’t make enough good decisions in possession; we didn’t play through the midfield enough and probably didn’t press with enough intensity but you can see what happens to the players when they score the first goal,” Taylor said.
“It gives them confidence in what we’re asking them to do.
“It’s the first game since we’ve started pre-season that we’ve dominated possession. There’s lots for the players to learn and we’re talking a lot in training about making sure we’re in the correct position when we’re building and rotations in the middle of the pitch and making sure we’re creating space to play and what impressed me more than anything was our ruthlessness in front of goal.
“We’ve had nine chances and come away with five goals so I’m really happy and that will allow the players to gain some more confidence as we get closer to the beginning of the season.
“I still think the players can get a lot better, trust each other more in possession and give the ball to each other in tighter areas but as I’ve said before, it’s going to take time.
“Let’s not get too excited, we’re over the moon that we’ve won today and the players deserve that but we’ve now got what is essentially two weeks until the start of the season so still a lot of work to do and it’s still a working progress but from my perspective and the players perspective, we’re really pleased with the result.”
The Saddlers have two more pre-season friendlies before the big kick-off with Championship outfit West Bromwich Albion next up at the Banks’s Stadium tomorrow evening (7.30pm).
Taylor was delighted to see so many Walsall fans down at Kidderminster and is hoping for more of the same at the Banks’s as they tackle a different challenge to the one faced at Aggborough.
“It’ll be a different test because the two previous fixtures to this one we were underdogs and didn’t have enough possession in those games and the possession we did have, we didn’t make it count so West Brom will be a similar game to that,” Taylor explained.
They’re preparing for their season so we need to make sure that we’re adequate out of possession and make better decisions when we go for spells without the ball.
“We’re really looking forward to it. I hope the fans can come back and support us, I thought they were fantastic (at Kidderminster). They’ve come in their numbers, considering its pre-season and not to be undervalued so I’m really pleased.
“They’re on this journey with us and we want to make sure that throughout the season we put in good performances. There are going to be tough times during the season but it was nice to see so many of them at Kidderminster.”
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Full interview with the Head Coach below: