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McDonald: Tranmere victory a confidence boost

14 February 2022

Walsall interim Head Coach Neil McDonald feels Saturday’s victory over Tranmere Rovers will act as a confidence boost to the squad.

Conor Wilkinson’s late penalty saw the Saddlers pick up their first victory over 2022.

McDonald felt, on the whole, Walsall deserved to pick up three points and believes the result will give the players a real lift.

“I think it is a confidence boost because winning games breeds confidence with the players,” he said.

“I thought they were absolutely brilliant considering what’s happened this week. We changed it around a touch, they’ve had a lot of information and we tried to match up a team that were second in the league and going really well.

“Much better individual performances and certainly the team performance was a lot better. I think we got the little bit of luck with the penalty.

"On the whole, we’ve deserved to win with the chances we had as well so it’s a really good performance and hopefully it gives the players the confidence they had before the run of seven defeats.

“It’s a long time since we’ve had a clean sheet, I think it was Colchester. It’s vitally important that we don’t give any chances away and we don’t make any silly mistakes.

“We had a couple of chances, still didn’t hit the target as much as we wanted to and we’ve been working at but endeavour in the end gives us the three points with the penalty.”

Wilkinson netted his fifth of the campaign with a composed finish from the penalty spot.

The forward drew praise from McDonald for the finish and for winning the spot kick.

“He practices them and we were confident he could put it in the back of the net,” he commented.

“It was good he tried to get the other side of Clarke, which we were trying to anyway with a little bit of a gameplan and that was the first time we got in behind inside the box and we got our just rewards.”

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