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Taylor: "We got what we deserved"

11 October 2021

Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor felt his team got what they deserved against Salford City on Saturday.

Conor Wilkinson made his return from injury as he stepped off the bench and netted a dramatic 95th minute winner to secure three points at the Banks's Stadium. 

The Saddlers got their noses in front after just 28 seconds following an outstanding solo goal from Kieran Phillips but were pegged back when Ash Eastham got on the end of a corner to equalise.

Taylor was concerned history may have repeated itself after the Ammies levelled but he was delighted to see the players respond and push for a winner and pick up three points that he felt his side merited.

“We got what we deserved,” Taylor said.

“Too many times I’ve stood talking and it’s been a conversation of yes, we’ve played well but we haven’t come away with the win and three points.

“The three points are a reflection of the hard work that the players have put in and that’s hugely satisfying for me but hugely satisfying for them because sometimes when it continues to go against you, it’s natural for players to lose confidence in their ability.

“For me and for the players, the coaching staff – I’m extremely happy that we managed to get the three points albeit I did have that feeling when they scored from a corner that it was going to be déjà vu but it was good to have Conor back in the squad and he’s done what we brought him here to do.

“Within 30 seconds we’re 1-0 up and you think right OK, we’ve got something to build on. I thought while we surrendered possession, our shape was excellent. They had one shot in the first half, Jack I don’t remember making a save so that tells you that we might have got into our shape slightly quicker.

"They’re a tough side to play against because they keep the ball and want to move the ball but the players were disciplined in their performance. They didn’t leave their gaps and didn’t jump out unnecessarily. At times, I wanted us to be more aggressive with that press but that’s a huge three points for the players.”

Wilkinson made it two goals in his last two appearances having missed five league games due to injury since he scored the winner against Stevenage back in August.

Taylor is keen to see the forward get back to his peak in terms of fitness levels but was pleased to see him get on the scoresheet and do what he was brought to the club to do.

“It’s his job,” Taylor commented.

“I expected the ball to hit the back of the net when I saw him shift it inside.

“It’s difficult for the defender to make up that space and as soon as Conor gets inside on his left foot, he scores goals like that every day in training.

“Conor’s got fantastic ability but now we need to get him up to speed physically.”

Wilkinson will be hoping to be involved when the Saddlers take on his former club Leyton Orient next Saturday at the Breyer Group Stadium.

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