Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor felt his side performed admirably against Premier League opposition on Saturday and was pleased with the afternoon’s work of his team.
The Saddlers fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace courtesy of Wilfried Zaha’s first half strike.
Taylor is looking to build on the foundations from Saturday’s match going into the remaining pre-season fixtures after a promising display against Palace.
“I thought it was a good game,” he said.
“I thought it was a game where both teams tried to play football but from our perspective, we are extremely happy that the players have come through unscathed.
“Physically they have pushed themselves which is great. We have had three tough weeks of training leading into this so for them to go out and perform very admirably against a good team with some world class players.
“It was about us looking at our shape out of possession, testing the boys within 20-minute spells of the game in terms of different scenarios.
“We were fortunate that we managed to get in a game against the under-18s on Thursday last week so we weren’t going into this game really cold.
“The boys had had an exposure to an hour to 11-v-11 football but there will be a lot of things of the course of the season that I think we will be looking to get better at but in terms of a base and this is what I have said to the lads, the performance that they have produced is the base for us to move forward in the rest of pre-season and take into the 7th of August.”
Saturday’s match against the Eagles also marked the long-awaited return of Saddlers fans to the Banks’s Stadium after a 16-month absence.
Taylor was delighted see supporters back in the ground and is looking forward welcoming a larger crowd to Wednesday’s match against Aston Villa.
“It was good to see the fans back,” Taylor commented.
“It’s good for the players as well as it puts a little bit of pressure on them because it’s the first time that the fans have seen the players and it was nice to have them back in the stadium and hopefully, we can now have more fans back in here on Wednesday night against Aston Villa.”
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