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Pre-match: Sadler stresses importance of FA Cup tie

2 November 2023

Club News

Pre-match: Sadler stresses importance of FA Cup tie

2 November 2023

Walsall Head Coach Mat Sadler stressed the importance of tomorrow’s Emirates FA Cup tie away at Sheppey United.

The Saddlers will kickstart their cup campaign live on ITV4 on Friday evening Isthmian League South East Division side.

It’s a historic occasion for Sheppey taking on an EFL side but Sadler highlighted how beneficial a good cup run can be for Walsall.

“It’s a game of big magnitude for ourselves, let’s not get that twisted,” Sadler said.

“These cup runs can bring some really good finances to the club which can help when we move forward into January and then they can help with whatever we decide to do at that point so it’s a big game for us, make no bones about that.

“We are desperate to win the game and to do that we have to be extremely on it to win the game and to do that, we have to be extremely on it in the game. We have to make sure our mentality is focused, right and ready because we’ll be up against an opposition that are desperate to do the same so it's a big game for all concerned.

“It’s a fantastic occasion, it’s the reason why the TV cameras are there because of that.

“We look forward to another experience along the road, it’s a different one and we’re off the back of a defeat against Mansfield so we want to put that right and start the next run for us because we were on the back of a really good run before that and I was gutted we came off that run at the weekend.

“We wanted to prove people wrong against an opposition that hadn’t lost so far this season and we missed an opportunity to be that first (team to beat them) so we’re desperate to start our next run. To be in front of the 170 fans who will make a tough journey on the day, we want to send them home happy.”

The Saddlers reached the fourth round of the competition last season that culminated in a home match against then Premier League side Leicester City.

Sadler hopes to create more memories for the club in this competition which he has enjoyed all his life as a player and a fan. 

“As a supporter, I’ve watched many different teams play opposition from all different leagues, it’s a special cup competition and we look forward to it so much because of that nature of teams playing against each other from higher levels, from lower levels that you don’t normally see playing each other,” he commented.

“It’s a fantastic cup competition and we love it for those reasons, it’s unique in its nature and it can bring you some special memories like we’ve had in the past here, most notably last season against Carlisle, Stockport and then the Leicester game.

“It’s one we all hold close because of the moments it can give you and it does give us and we look forward to it because of that.”

Sadler was without a number of players through injury last time out against Mansfield Town and the Head Coach provided the last updated on their situations.

“Rem (Oteh) had his surgery so he will be 12 weeks,” Sadler confirmed.

“Priestley (Farquharson) and Freddie (Draper) are making strides, so we’ll keep assessing them as the week goes on.

“Harry will be another 4-6 weeks so mixed news but we’ll get there. There will be certainly no excuses attached to it but they’re all moving in the right direction.”

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