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Pre-match: Sadler expecting to face experienced Harrogate Town outfit

10 November 2023

Club News

Pre-match: Sadler expecting to face experienced Harrogate Town outfit

10 November 2023

Walsall Head Coach Mat Sadler is expecting to come up against an experienced Harrogate Town outfit at the Poundland Bescot Stadium on Saturday.

The Saddlers are back in league action following last weekend’s triumph in the Emirates FA Cup and will be aiming to get back on track after defeat at Mansfield Town last time out.

Sadler, just months into his first full time managerial role, will be coming up against the longest serving manager in the top four divisions in Simon Weaver who has been in the Harrogate hot seat since 2009.

The Saddlers Head Coach praised the club’s longevity and is looking forward to the challenge against a side who have had a similar start to the season. 

“There is just a point between the two teams,” Sadler stated.

“I think I’m right in saying Simon is the longest serving manager in the Football League at the moment which again is testament to the longevity that he is having there but he’s got some really good experience and there are some players who have been through the journey with him and they know what League Two is all about and he knows what League Two is all about.

“It will be a tough game, as they all are and this will be another one on that road. They’re a team in good form away from home so we’ve got to be right on top of it.

“We feel in a good place too and we’re looking forward to the next challenge, the next home game and the next opportunity to get three points and we’re looking forward to being back in front of our home fans.

“There have been some long trips since we were last here, there’s been some good moments and not so good moments at Mansfield so we want to have a really good afternoon in front of our home fans.” 

The Saddlers still have a number of injury issues to contend with. Sadler is optimistic of the picture looking brighter after the international break but he does have Ronan Maher to call up on after his recall from Rushall and while Jack Earing is still not quite ready to play, he has been boosted by the midfielder’s return to training.

“On Jack, he’s been non-contact this week and last week so he needs to have another couple of weeks of actual contact before he can be considered for selection so I don’t want anyone thinking that he’s ready and good to go just right now,” he explained.

“I don’t want to put any pressure on him as well because he’s been through a lot but it’s been great to have him and we look forward to having him in full contact and he’s looked great.

“On other bodies, there’s some walking wounded around there and there are a few patched up ones that we’re trying to get back as quickly as we possibly can, whether the weekend comes too quickly, I don’t know.

“We have the benefit of having a breather after the Shrewsbury game. They’re on the way back, we’ll see about the weekend but the picture will look a lot brighter for more of them after that week.”

Elsewhere, Liam Gordon, Donervon Daniels and Brandon Comley will all jet off on international duty next week, resulting in the postponement of next weekend’s trip to Doncaster Rovers and Sadler was delighted for all three of them.

“I’m so proud for them,” he said.

“Someone will have to tell us the last time we personally had a game called off for internationals because it’s not since I’ve been here.

“Firstly, what a fantastic achievement by those three and they go with my best wishes because they’re three incredible people and they should be so proud of their achievements.

“I’ve had all three of them in here, speaking to them and saying how proud I am of them. We should celebrate that, it’s an incredible achievement.

“Listening to each one of their stories about how it’s come about, their heritage behind it all is inspirational so I’m so proud of them. As a football club, we should celebrate it and it’s a fantastic achievement by all three.”

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