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Confidence remains high insists Dutton

11 March 2021

Walsall Head Coach Brian Dutton insists confidence is still high within the camp despite a frustrating run of results.

The Saddlers were dealt a late blow last time out when Cambridge United snatched three points in the dying seconds.

Apart from a disappointing display against Bradford City, Dutton has been pleased with the progression of performances and says his side are in good spirits ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Barrow.

“The lads are full of confidence as strange as that may seem,” Dutton said.

“Prior to me taking the job, we were one win in seven and since I took over that form has continued and we’re now without a win in six so the lads should be on their knees with confidence but they’re not.

“I don’t know whether it’s a case because the fans aren’t able to attend so they can’t hear that disgruntled-ness on the terraces. They’re full of confidence, they’re enjoying their football and showing me a real appetite of enthusiasm to go out there and perform.

“Apart from 70 minutes against Bradford, the performances have been what I’ve been looking for. It’s in its infancy, we’re starting a project and they need to implement what we’re asking of them and they are doing that.

“By no means are they the finished article but that doesn’t come overnight, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m really pleased with the progression they’ve made but now we need to start getting results and turn that corner.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Barrow are currently 22nd in Sky Bet League Two and have installed Rob Kelly as interim Manager.

Despite their lowly position, Dutton feels Barrow will provide a tougher challenge to his team than high-flying Cambridge last time out and has called on his players to approach the game with the right mentality.

“Let’s not go into this fixture with the wrong mindset,” Dutton stressed.

“Barrow have got a new man at the helm – Rob Kelly. He’s had seven games in charge of Barrow this season and I believe he has won four and lost three. He’s won two in his last six so they’re in good form, better form than us.

“They’ve got players who are fighting for not only their own livelihoods but they’re fighting for everyone at the football club’s livelihoods because dropping out of the EFL in a normal season is severe but off the back of a global pandemic, it’s almost critical for a lot of clubs so they will know what’s a stake.

“They’ll be arriving as demons and giving everything for the football club so we need to match it and surpass it and that’s what we’ll be looking to do. We can’t go into this fixture lackadaisical and think it’s going to be an easy game, it won’t be. It’s going to be a tougher.”

Attention now turns to Friday evening as the Saddlers host Barrow at the Banks’s Stadium. Watch the game live on iFollow by purchasing a match pass here.

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