Walsall manager Darrell Clarke wants a reaction from his side as they head to Leyton Orient on Saturday. The Saddlers lost their winning run against Salford last weekend and the 41 year old is looking for his side to bounce back in the Capital. Speaking to walsallfc.co.uk “the response has to be at 3pm Saturday”.
- Sit 15th on 15 points
- Only lost two of their last eight games – W4 D2 L2
- League Record – P12 W4 D3 L5 F8 A14
Walsall lost their first game in five in a 3-0 home defeat to Salford last Saturday thanks to goals from Luke Armstrong, Jake Jervis and Ibou Touray. Clarke was fuming with his sides performance, stating to walsallfc.co.uk “it was very much a bad day at the office, it goes to show when you are working with a group of players and two or three important players are not in the team, we look like a development team”.
The Saddlers had won four on the spin before defeat to Salford and defender Zak Jules acknowledges his side need to stay focused on the job at hand not get carried away. Speaking to walsallfc.co.uk “it’s down to us to keep our feet on the ground and not get to complacent. It’s just a case of staying level headed and believing in each other as individuals and as a group”.
- Kept five league clean sheets (three away)
- Only Forest Green and Newport (8) have kept more
- Kept three in last five games
- Kept three clean sheets in last four away games
- Conceded five goals in last two league games
Manager Clarke arrived at the Bescot in May after the Saddlers relegation to the fourth tier. The former Bristol Rovers manager explained after a heavy defeat you review the performance back, “I won’t accept certain things but that’s has been addressed. First and foremost you look at your own performance as a manager as well. I don’t think I got all my decisions right on Saturday, the players certainly didn’t so we addressed it on Monday morning”. Wasallfc.co.uk
Defender Matt Sadler is keen for side to get back on a winning run in E10 on Saturday. The 34 year old was disappointed by the manner of their defeat and insists they want to put things right against Orient. Speaking to walsallfc.co.uk “you dust yourself down and start all over again, it’s always important when a run comes to an end to start another one and if you can go a season winning three and losing one, you’ll be alright at the end of it”.
- Away League Record – P6 W3 D1 L2 F5 A6
- Only Stevenage (3) have scored fewer goals on the road
- Unbeaten in last four away – W2 D2
- Not won three consecutive away games since September 2018
- Last defeat – 24/08/2019 – 3-0 at Plymouth
Due to the International break, Leyton Orient have made the game “football for a fiver” and are set for a bumper crowd in East London. The Saddlers have sold over 850 tickets for the clash and Clarke wants to perform for them on Saturday. Speaking to walsallfc.co.uk “we’re delighted with the support we’re getting. We’ve let them down a bit at home so far this season. This is where you get the real good fans. There’s loads coming down to support their team, it’s my job as manager to make sure we don’t have too many performances like Saturday. I don’t think we have had many in the first quarter of the season.
- Failed to score in six league games
- Only Stevenage (7) have failed to score in more
- Failed to score in one of their last five
- Scored in last two away games but only netted four in seven away games this season
- Only scored more than once in one of their last 12 games
This season, sees the Saddlers play in the fourth tier for the first time since 2007 and Clarke has been handed the opportunity to sent them back up. Walsall last play the O’s back in 2015 and were two leagues apart just last season. Sadler knows it will be a tough contest at Brisbane Road, “they have some real momentum after getting promoted, they are a football club that has had a lot of emotion around in the last couple of months”.
- Have netted 75% of their league goals in the first half – 6/8
- Scored 50% of their goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches
- Conceded 9/14 league goals in the second half – including five after 75th minute
- All five away goals have come in the first half
On loan striker Rory Gaffney should return after being ineligible against Salford last weekend. Midfielder Danny Guthrie is a doubt after missing the defeat to Salford. James Hardy is pushing for a start in midfield.
Head to Head – Walsall 22, Draw 19, Leyton Orient 30
Last Meeting – 28/02/2015 – Walsall 0-2 Leyton Orient
- Walsall are without a win in last eight meetings – D4 L4
- Have only won one of last 13 meetings – W1 D6 L6
- Have not won at Brisbane Road since 2009, D4 L3 (last seven meetings)
- No team has scored more than two goals in last 19 meetings
Last Time Out – 0-3 vs Salford, 05/10/2019
Prediction – Leyton Orient 2-1 Walsall