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Sadler eyeing response in EFL Trophy clash with Forest Green Rovers

9 October 2023

Club News

Sadler eyeing response in EFL Trophy clash with Forest Green Rovers

9 October 2023

Walsall Head Coach Mat Sadler wants to see a response from his team when they face Forest Green Rovers at the Poundland Bescot Stadium tomorrow night.

Attention shifts to the EFL Trophy as the Saddlers look to get off the mark in Southern Group A and bounce back from Saturday’s heavy defeat to Sutton United.

Sadler has called on his squad to learn from events of the weekend but insists focus should now be on reacting in the right way tomorrow evening and heading into Saturday’s match against Gillingham.

“That’s the only way you do it, it’s the only way I work,” Sadler said.

“It’s important that there is a response on Tuesday. There are some hurting players and hurting staff.

“Collectively, which we will, we have to get that good feeling back going into two home games that we’ve got coming up, certainly on Tuesday night and certainly on the following Saturday – we need to get that good feeling back into us.

“We’ve just got to see (Saturday) as an anomaly in the season. An incredibly disappointing first half and we have to see that as a learning experience.

“We can’t defend like that in our penalty area and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Leading scorer Freddie Draper was an unused substitute at the weekend as Danny Johnson and Jamille Matt started in attack.

Sadler explained the reason behind his absence and why he wasn’t called upon from the bench.

“Freddie felt his hamstring so we were touch and go with him in many ways so we couldn’t bring him on,” Sadler confirmed.

“I think it was important that I didn’t want to push him, especially after that first half, we knew the game was where the game was.

“It was about showing a response in the second half and showing a bit of respect for ourselves in the second half and, at times, I felt we did. Naturally, when you’re 4-0 down it’s difficult but in terms of Freddie, he felt his hamstring so we couldn’t take any risks on him.”

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