Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor insists form will count for nothing in the Emirates FA Cup as his team prepare to face King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.
The Saddlers will be aiming to reach the second round of the competition for the first time since the 2019/20 season.
Taylor is expecting his players to maintain their effort and commitment levels that they’ve shown over October and was keen to stress there is also no room for complacency in facing a side from a lower division.
“Form is irrelevant going into this,” Taylor said.
“What we require and what we demand from our players is that they give 100 per cent effort, 100 per cent of the time for 95/96 minutes.
“Yes, we need to be good on the ball and we will have to defend our box at times.
“I feel in and around the opponent’s box we are making better decisions more regularly.
“All I will ask the players to do is replicate the performance and effort levels that they’ve been showing in the last four or five weeks then we’ve got a good chance of winning the game.
“If we don’t do that, we’ll make it difficult for ourselves. King’s Lynn are a good football team, they’ve got an extremely experienced manager, good coach and they’ve got some really good players so there is no way, shape or form that our players will be not performing to their maximum ability and thinking it’s an easy game because it’s not.”
King’s Lynn are currently 21st in the National League.
Taylor and his team have done their homework on the Linnets and is expecting a difficult challenge based on what he’s seen.
“They’re a team that have a philosophy in the way that they play,” he explained.
“They are sticking to that philosophy; we’ve been to watch them ourselves and we’ve had eyes on them and we’ll give the opposition the respect that they fully deserve because they’re a good team.
“We’re aware they probably aren’t in a position in the league they want to be in but this will be a game they will be looking to get through to the next round so it’s one we’ll need to be on our game to take something from.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our players to experience the FA Cup but the pressure, I’m sure, will be on us because we’re the league team so the plan now is for our players is to go and deal with that and implement our game plan as we always talk about.
“We’ve worked hard on that this week and we will do so again before the game but it’s one that I’m really looking forward to.
"What a great cup competition and we’ve got a great opportunity to get to the next round.”