Walsall forward Douglas James-Taylor has credited his mother for his speed after he showed an excellent burst of pace before scoring the first of the team’s six at Grimsby Town on New Year’s Day.
The 22-year-old netted his second of the season at Blundell Park which set the Saddlers on their way to scoring six away in the league for the first time since 1948.
James-Taylor was pleased to be rewarded for having the confidence to take on the shot after winning the ball despite being second favourite, although he is not taking all the credit.
“I have to say thanks to my Mum for the speed, she was a sprinter back in the day so shoutout to my Mum,” James-Taylor said.
“It’s something that I need to keep using. An opportunity like that came up, the centre-back’s got an extra yard but I trusted my speed and having the confidence to go all the way for goal as well.
“Earlier on in the season, I’d have looked for the pass, sometimes it’s the right time to play the pass but I felt like I was in on goal there.”
The emphatic victory was Walsall’s third on the bounce and sixth victory in the last seven outings in all competitions.
It’s been quite the turnaround for the Saddlers who went in to December in 19th place but have climbed to 11th, whilst also booking their place in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
James-Taylor always had belief that results would turn and he has taken inspiration from another leading sports star to aid him through a tricky period.
“Whenever there is a setback or I’m not doing well as an individual or we’re not doing well as a team, I think of Formula One,” he commented.
“Lewis Hamilton is a role model for me and when he doesn’t put in the race that he wants, he sticks with his team and he’s got seven World Championships.
“Those people at the top of their spot have to stay level headed whether it’s good, whether it’s bad and know that the journey they’re going on is the right one.
“Earlier on in the season we felt like we were putting in the hard yards, putting in the work but the results weren’t reflecting the hard work we were doing on the training pitch but we knew we had to stick with it and every day, everyone was positive.
“The group is together in every sense of the word and Monday reflected that. You get adversity in conceding but the way we bounced back, it was amazing to be a part of.”