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Matt Taylor looks ahead to Barrow test

22 October 2021

Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor feels Barrow will provide good test for his team when they visit the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday.

The Saddlers will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to six and build on Tuesday’s victory over Oldham Athletic.

The Bluebirds are 11th but only a point ahead of the Saddlers and Taylor sees them as a direct rival and believes they’ll provide his team with a tough challenge having started well under manager Mark Cooper.

“They’re a team that I think have gone through a period of adaptation and what I mean by that is a manager has come in with a different formation for them and they’ve adapted really well to it,” Taylor explained.

“They’ve got players who know their roles and responsibilities and they’ve started the season well. They’re, if you like, a direct rival for us so it will be a good test to see where we are. We’re at home and it will be a game I feel will be played in the right way.

“It will be a tough game as every game at this level is. What I can say with 100 per cent confidence is that our players are ready and desperate to get out in front of our home fans to give them something to cheer.”

The Saddlers have been boosted in recent games by the return of Conor Wilkinson from injury and Joss Labadie from suspension.

Ash Taylor also returned to the bench after a short lay off but the Saddlers were still missing Zak Mills, Liam Kinsella and Rory Holden and Taylor provided an update on their progress.

“We’ve got three players out injured at the moment – Rory, Liam and Zak,” he confirmed.

“Kins will probably be a matter of weeks, hopefully the same with Zak.

“Rory has had a more significant injury and what we’ve got to make sure is that we follow his rehabilitation programme as close to the letter of the law as we can because what we want to do with Rory is once he recovers from this injury and he’s back fit, we want him to stay fit for the remainder of the season.

“All three players are working hard, they’re desperate to get out of the gym and I understand that having been there myself but what I will say is all three are getting closer, we’ve got two that are a matter of weeks and unfortunately for Rory his is slightly longer but he’s working extremely hard to get back as soon as possible.”

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