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Pre-match: Sadler expecting to face competitive Swindon side

15 September 2023

Club News

Pre-match: Sadler expecting to face competitive Swindon side

15 September 2023

Walsall Head Coach Mat Sadler is expecting to come up against a competitive Swindon Town side tomorrow afternoon but insists his team will be prepared for the challenge of facing former Head Coach Michael Flynn’s free-scoring team.

The Saddlers will be aiming to record a third successive win and build on last weekend’s first away triumph of the campaign.

Sadler’s men will head into the game with confidence but he is under no illusions of the threat that the Robins pose.  

“There aren’t any games in this division that aren’t tough but Michael’s put together a really good squad, a really competitive squad and they’ve got some really good football players at the club,” he said.

“You can see from the results they’ve had and the goals they’ve scored that they’re a really good attacking team who cause problems that you don’t see week in week out so it will be a tough game for us.

"They have an experienced manager and coach running the team there but we’ll go into it trying to be as prepared as we possibly can.”

The Saddlers head into the contest in good shape on the back of a four-match unbeaten streak in the league and the squad is in a healthy position.

There is a lot of competition for places in all areas of the pitch and Sadler feels the players are responding well to it and are all battling for their place in the team.

“I said to them, I want to go into whenever we name the team with some real decisions to make on the back of how well you’ve trained this week, which they have,” Sadler commented.

“It’s only a problem or decision to make if they apply themselves in the right way and our group do that day in, day out, they’re a fantastic group to work with and we set our standards based on that.

“I’ve got options, which is great for me as a coach. I’ve got some good strength in depth and we welcome Liam (Gordon) back into the fold, proud of what he’s done when he’s been away so plenty of selection headaches but they’re good headaches to have.”

One player who Sadler won’t be able call upon is Chris Hussey who announced his retirement from professional football earlier this week.

Sadler has called on other players to now seize the opportunity to earn a spot in the team and while he admitted Chris’ ability will be a miss, he wished the 34-year-old well for the future.

“Chris came in and spoke to everybody which was a mark of him, he wanted to do it properly and he goes with our best wishes for the next chapter of his career,” Sadler said.

“Naturally, we would have preferred he was continuing because of the undoubted ability he has at this level but this is the right decision for him and his family so we have to honour and respect that, especially in the way he went about doing it so as he moves into the next chapter of his career, opportunities open up for other players and it’s up to them to show they’re desperate and willing to burst down the door to keep their shirts.”

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