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Pre-match: Mat Sadler relishing Mansfield test

27 October 2023

Club News

Pre-match: Mat Sadler relishing Mansfield test

27 October 2023

Walsall Head Coach Mat Sadler is relishing the challenge of taking on Mansfield Town tomorrow afternoon.

The Stags are currently fourth in Sky Bet League Two and are unbeaten in all competitions.

Sadler is excited for the test against a team he feels has been well constructed over recent seasons.

“They’re a good team,” Sadler said.

“They have incredibly experienced coaching staff, some brilliant people too. There’s has been a journey and it’s taken some seasons of piecing it together and trying to improve season on season but they look like they’ve got a fantastic group together now.

“They’re a really good team, they’ve got a deep squad and they’re showing that in their performances. It’s a fantastic challenge for us and we’re looking forward to the game.”

Sadler still has a number of injury issues to contend with and is sweating on the fitness of striker Freddie Draper and defender Harry Williams after the pair were forced off in midweek.

“We’ll assess Freddie and see where he’s at,” Sadler confirmed.

“That’s the case with him so I’m not 100 per cent sure yet. Oisin (McEntee) is working towards, Priestley (Farquharson) is working towards, David (Okagbue) is working towards, Rem (Oteh) is, I think I’ve mentioned, a little bit longer so we’ve just got to check up on him. Harry we also need to check up on in the coming days to see where he is. The ones in there are desperate to get out of that treatment room so hopefully we’ll welcome them back soon.”

The Saddlers head into the game on 20 points from their opening 15 matches.

Sadler feels the team have shown good signs of progress in the opening third of the season and admitted there has been lessons learnt along the way.

“There have been some really good moments but it’s also been a learning experience for everyone included,” he recalled.

“There was a big change around again at the start of the season and with that we’ve had new relationships and we’ve been trying to find new relationships through injury and suspension.

“Amongst looking for that there have been some really good performances, some not so good performances and there’s been moments in-between but the biggest thing for me has been the desire and the application of the players to try and rectify when things haven’t gone so well in the game.

“I think we’re at the point with the group where their work rate, their intensity, level of intent of trying to be on the front foot is evident.

“We’re desperate to be on the front foot against teams and they’re showing loads of different sides to it. They’re showing heart, they’re showing resilience, they’ve come back from games, they’ve seen games out and we’ve been on the other side of it. We’re looking for that consistency, we’re a team in progress but there are some really good signs for us.”

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