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Michael Flynn previews Port Vale clash and pays tribute to Stephen Ward

22 April 2022

Walsall Head Coach Michael Flynn is excited for tomorrow’s match against Port Vale at the Banks's Stadium.

The Saddlers will be looking to bounce back after a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Crawley Town on Easter Monday.

The Valiants also fell to defeat on Monday and will themselves be looking to return to winning ways in Saturday’s highly-anticipated encounter.

Flynn has been impressed with what he has seen from Vale but is looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

“They’re a good team and I watched them not long ago against Exeter.

“They’re strong, organised and have some good players with the likes of Jamie Proctor, who I know well - I had him at Newport.

“(James) Wilson, David Worrall’s had a very good career in the lower leagues, it’s going to be a tough game.

“We say it every week but we’ve got to make sure we’re up for it and make sure they’re not coming here expecting us to roll over because we’ve got nothing to play for, we have – we’ve got pride to play for.”

One player who won’t be involved tomorrow is Stephen Ward who announced his retirement from football this morning.

Flynn was full of praise for the defender and was keen to pay tribute to him and congratulate him on a fantastic career.

“He’s a breath of fresh air,” he commented.

“He’s had a fantastic career and still working hard day in, day out and he’s a model professional.

“He’s somebody I would have loved to have worked with for a longer period but unfortunately, he’s at the age where he thinks his body’s had enough but I’ve got nothing but praise for Stephen Ward.

“We had a conversation after the Rochdale game where he played. His mind was going quicker than his body although I thought he did quite well that day, we only took him off because we needed to change the shape and go for the equaliser so he didn’t go out on a disgrace.

“He got on against Carlisle which secured our status. The way he’s handled himself has been exemplary and I don’t expect anything else from someone who’s had the career he’s had because it’s been an unbelievable career. 60 odd caps for Ireland, over 200 Premier League appearances, that’s a career I would have loved.”

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