Walsall Head Coach Mat Sadler has utilised the opportunity to have a free, uninterrupted week on the training pitch as the team prepares to face Steve Morison’s improving Sutton United.
The Saddlers will be itching to get back to action following the postponement of last weekend’s match against Accrington Stanley at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.
Sadler is pleased to be back at home for the first time since the end of December and is happy to have had a full week of training in preparation.
“Any time we get to be on the training ground we have to make use of it and make sure we use the time out there,” he said.
“Last week was obviously disruptive but so was the rest of the country with the weather and we were fully prepared for that game.
“It’s brilliant to have another week off the back of it now. I think if we’d have jumped into a Tuesday game it would have been difficult having been on the different surfaces last week. It would have been fine to play the game (on Saturday) because everyone was in the same boat but jumping in to a Tuesday game, we’ve definitely benefitted from having a full week of training back on the grass, back on our training pitch so really pleased to have had that.
“It’s the relentless second period of the season that we’re going to approach. It gets very Saturday-Tuesday in February, which is great. We’ve had this period where we’ve done the work and we go into this period desperate to keep accumulating, keep building, keep chasing and that’s what we’re going with the mindset of.
“It’s the first game in a long time at home, it feels like forever since the Wrexham game. We are going to need the crowd with us, the crowd will play a huge part in the game on Saturday.
“The more vocal they can be, we will feed off that so it’s a rallying cry to turn up with your big voices because we’re desperate for that element to drive us so we’re looking forward to being at home but against a very tough team.”
Sutton will arrive at the Poundland Bescot Stadium having lost just one of their last five league outings, drawing their last three.
Sadler is expecting the U’s to provide a fierce challenge having seen first hand what they’re capable of.
“I watched them on Tuesday night and there has certainly been a reaction to the change of manager, which you’d expect,” Sadler commented.
“The way that they’re playing is different to the way they have done and they are putting together a really good team there. I saw them against Mansfield, watched them against Barrow – both teams that are up there in the division. They will come with the bit between their teeth so we have to be really on our metal, it will be a really good game.”
The Saddlers have been boosted by a number of players returning to training following injury lay-offs.
Sadler did however have some frustrating news on Danny Johnson who has been ruled out of tomorrow’s match but there was more encouraging news regarding Aramide Oteh.
“It’s been brilliant to see Rem out there and he has stepped it up this week.
“He spent last week at St George’s Park, working really hard there and he comes in to us for the very final stages of it.
“He hasn’t joined the group yet but he’ll hopefully do that in the middle of next week which will be a real boost for him and for us because he’s been out for a good time.
“We’ve been fortunate that Joe Riley has trained with us this week, Ross has trained with us this week and Jamma has trained with us this week so guys that we’ve been missing are back in the fold now.
“We’ve had a bit of bad luck with Danny, he broke his toe so Danny won’t be with us at the weekend but all the other news is positive.
“Oisin (McEntee) is in the building now, working on the next part of his rehab. We’re going to need everybody between now and the end of the season and we’re going to be working extremely hard to keep everybody out of the treatment room.”