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Sadler praises character of squad following Mansfield victory

19 February 2024

Club News

Sadler praises character of squad following Mansfield victory

19 February 2024

Walsall Head Coach Mat Sadler praised the character of his squad following Saturday’s 2-1 victory over high-flying Mansfield Town.

Jamille Matt and Emmanuel Adegboyega netted either side of Stephen Quinn’s effort to earn the Saddlers three points at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

With captain Donervon Daniels missing and with the unfortunate loss of Priestley Farquharson to injury at half time, a defence made up of two 20-year-olds (Adegboyega and David Okagbue) and 23-year-old Taylor Allen stood firm.

It was a young team that ended the match and Sadler is pleased with how his players are growing.

“I’d love to see the average age because I think it was a very young team there,” Sadler said. 

“What they have got is character, energy, desire and they’re growing, they’re building and everyone had to play their part.

“Mansfield are a very good team and you have to have that bit of luck when it comes with opportunities but you make your own luck as well.

“All in all, I thought it was a fantastic day for the football club but we have to back it up now.”

It was a big effort from everyone who took to the field to get over the line against a strong Mansfield side and Sadler highlighted the togetherness of his team which he feels was a key factor to the victory.

Sadler also admitted that Mansfield did have a number of good opportunities but felt the Saddlers had earned their good fortune when they needed it.

“It was a funny one with that because I felt those opportunities came from our mistakes,” he explained.

“They’re good players so they create opportunities out of mistakes, I completely get that, but it felt like we were in control of the game and then get a sucker punch and then we get back in control of the game and then a sucker punch to it but credit where credit is due, we made sure that we came away with a victory.

“Everyone had to contribute, Jackson (Smith) certainly contributed for the team, really pleased and proud of him because I thought he was brilliant.

“Hard work is what it comes from and that’s what (Saturday) was all about. They showed that athleticism, willingness to run, to hassle and we were marshalled by the captain on the day, Jamille (Matt), who linked it all together and provided a real focal point for the team so I was delighted to see him score his goal.

“It was a proper team performance and one that was born out of hard work. I always say it, when everyone is together at the football club, it’s a fantastic place to play football and that was another occasion.”

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