Walsall midfielder Jack Earing admitted Saturday’s defeat to Leyton Orient gave the team a reality check.
The Saddlers were made to pay for a slow start to the match as goals from Harry Smith and Otis Khan in the opening 16 minutes proved to be enough for Richie Wellens’ side.
Earing believes the team’s first half performance let them down and feels the result will the players a wake up call.
“It’s a reality check for us,” he said.
“I think a few of us needed a kick up the backside which we shouldn’t need from the manager, we should be able to do that ourselves but as a team we didn’t really bond.
“The passage of play was just sloppy and we just didn’t get going.
“It was a difficult game. I think the first half killed us; the game was over after the first half.
“They were two sloppy goals but fair play to them, they came out and pressed us well. We were sloppy in possession and we were penalised on that and they score two easy goals.
“In the second half I thought we gave it a better go but I don’t think there was any quality on show so I think it was a fair result.”
It was Walsall’s first home defeat since a 1-0 reverse against Northampton Town at the start of February after a run of four consecutive wins at the Banks’s Stadium.
The 23-year-old felt the Saddlers struggled break a stubborn Orient outfit down and was disappointed with the intensity levels.
"I think the difference in the game was the intensity,” he commented.
“The intensity wasn’t like it has been in previous games at home where we have been on top in the last four or five games and that has led to us winning games.
“I think it was one of those days where we couldn’t break the lines. Crosses, I don’t think we beat the first man enough, but when you go behind by two goals, there is then a mountain to climb.
“I thought they defended well after the two goals but it is what it is and we will look forward to the next game now.”