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Sadler praises Bescot support after final home league game

22 April 2024

Club News

Sadler praises Bescot support after final home league game

22 April 2024

Walsall Head Coach Mat Sadler enjoyed seeing a fantastic crowd at the Poundland Bescot Stadium on Saturday and while he was frustrated to end the home league campaign with a defeat, he is hoping this season’s home form can provide a good springboard going into next season.

Bradford City turned the game on its head after goals from Ryan Stirk and Mo Faal gave the Saddlers a 2-0 lead before the Bantams staged their comeback.

Sadler admitted it wasn’t quite meant to be for his team on the day but he feels there is a good unity between the supporters and the players and praised the Saddlers faithful for the atmosphere they created on the day and throughout the campaign at home.

“It always looks amazing when it’s full,” Sadler said.

“We’re fighting every inch of the way to give more and more of these moments and the supporters are going with us, they’re giving us their everything and hopefully they can see we’re giving them our everything.

“It wasn’t to be (on Saturday), there have been loads of times it has been to be this season. We want to say thanks to the supporters, we want to give them a team that they’re proud of and hopefully we’re doing that. Hopefully this is a springboard, a catalyst to where the good times will be.”

It was an eventful afternoon to round off the home league campaign for 2023/24.

Sadler feels his players will learn from the experience and while there were elements that frustrated him, he was pleased with how his players threw everything they could at it and with the lightning start they made to the game.

“I thought we started incredibly well and showed what a really good team we were in the first half,” he commented.

“We go 2-0 up through some really good play, some hard work and stuff we’d worked on with regards to their back line. It was a fantastic first goal with Ryan. The movement to get him in, the weight of pass and the pick of pass, again stuff we worked on, but the start was brilliant and exactly what we wanted but the goal shook us a little bit.

“It’s a learning thing and something we’ll have to keep learning because we are a young group but it shook us a little bit conceding in the manner that we did, a ball into the penalty area. Fair play to Andy Cook, that’s what he’s good at.

“We’re a lick of paint from going 3-1 up with Isaac (Hutchinson) when he hits the post and it rebounds back out that way and I think that might have settled things back down for us but that wasn’t to be and then we conceded another ball into the box, which is frustrating that we didn’t deal with, and that made the score 2-2 at half time.

“I would have only wanted to be in our dressing room at half time with the team we are but I felt we came out in the second half reeling slightly from conceding the two. It was frustrating how a third ball into the penalty area gives them a heads up and we don’t get that little break of luck with the ball where it falls so that was frustrating.

"We threw the kitchen sink at the game, so many balls ricocheting around, probably needed stronger refereeing at times but you don’t want to rely on that.

“Knowlesy (Tom Knowles) hits the bar/post and when that happens, some of the ones that were flashing across and bobbling around you’re thinking it’s probably not going to be your day.

“We threw everything at it, as we have done all season and unfortunately this time, we came out the other side of it.

“We go in looking to Tuesday and we need that bit of luck. Hopefully I’m talking to you on Thursday and we’ve had that bit of luck and we’re still in there with the fight, because that’s what I know the group will do is fight.”

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