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Club News

WEEKEND'S PRESS TALK

17 December 2012

Saddlers' boss, Dean Smith has reflected on our 2-2 home draw with Yeovil Town as we let a two-goal lead slip. "It's a kick in the stomach," he said. "We did enough to win this game but unfortunately we didn't get the three points. I felt that we defended well and restricted them to very few chances. It was a mistake that led to their first goal and then we didn't defend a set-piece properly for their equaliser, which was disappointing. I can't fault the lads' work-rate; they gave it all they had and even after they pulled a goal back we defended in the right areas. We had to take it on the chin; as a group we are hurting, but we know that we did enough to have won this game and now we have to make sure that we are ready for the next game and take the things that we did well into that."

The Saddlers returned to home action for the visit of Yeovil Town. There was a chance for Will Grigg within the opening two minutes when he broke through only for his effort to be pushed away by the visiting 'keeper. After a bright start, Walsall took a deserved lead when a ball from the right found its way across to Jamie Paterson on the far side and he placed the ball into the far corner to make it 1-0. Another inviting ball into the danger zone, this time from Paterson on the left, was only half-cleared as far as Sam Mantom just outside the area and he dipped an effort just over.

Players who escape the first half of the season with only five bookings should be rewarded with a medal, not punished by suspension, according to Gary Johnson. Yeovil Town will be without Fulham loan defender Dan Burn to face Oldham Athletic next weekend after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Walsall.

Sam Foley's last-minute leveller salvaged an unlikely and undeserved point for Yeovil Town away to a Walsall team who had looked poised for their first win in 16. The Saddlers eased into a 2-0 lead, profiting from an abject Glovers' performance that should have been punished with defeat in npower League One.

Gary Johnson has told his players that they are not wanted at Yeovil Town if they believe 14th in npower League One is acceptable. The Glovers' manager believed his team dropped two points when only last gasp strikes from Reuben Reid and Sam Foley prevented Walsall from earning their first win in 16 outings.

Dean Smith blamed last-minute mistakes for his Walsall side wasting a two-goal lead and having to settle for a 2-2 draw against Yeovil. The result meant the Saddlers winless run was extended to a worrying 16 matches. Smith said: "We have done everything but win that game. The only way I could see them (Yeovil) scoring was from a mistake or set piece and that's what happened.

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson was disappointed with his team's performance for 80 minutes in the 2-2 draw at Walsall. The Saddlers were two goals to the good thanks to Jamie Paterson and Will Grigg and appeared set to end a 15-match run without a win in all competitions. But substitute Reuben Reid reduced the arrears before Sam Foley snatched a point for the Glovers in the final minute. 

Korey Smith will return to Norwich City after Yeovil Town's clash at Walsall this afternoon with talks on his future scheduled for next week. The industrious midfielder has made 18 appearances in three months with the Glovers, having an initial month's loan extended in October. However, Saturday's npower League One meeting in the Midlands could be Smith's last in green and white hoops as he plans talks with Canaries' manager Chris Hughton.

Gary Johnson wants energy on and off the pitch to match his ambitions to progress Yeovil Town further. In almost a year since his return the manager believes he has transformed the Glovers from relegation fighters to a side capable of battling for a play-off spot. However, the former Bristol City boss said it was up to the rest of the club to pull in the same direction if they were to maintain what he hopes is a consistent upward spiral.

Assistant manager Terry Skiverton has warned Yeovil Town they must not become the first team to lose to Walsall in 16 games. The Glovers head to the Midlands in npower League One with their hosts searching for their first victory since the end of September. A run of seven defeats and eight draws has seen the Saddlers plummet to perilously above the bottom four and Skiverton was determined that the poor form was extended.


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