Walsall Manager Assesses “Below Standards” Defeat To Barrow

Mat Sadler was disappointed as his side’s winless run in League Two continued into its sixth game.

The Saddlers travelled north to Cumbria to face a red-hot Barrow team unbeaten in the fourth division since the start of October.

And it was the Holker Street side that controlled the game, coming out as comfortable 2-0 winners, thanks to a goal in each half from Ben Whitfield and Niall Canavan respectively.

Despite having the same number of shots as the Bluebirds, Walsall failed to control the game enough barring a late spell.

Speaking after the game, Sadler said: [Quotes via Express and Star]: “The first point of that is I am not one to tell them that they had no heart because I know they’ve got heart, I know they’ve got passion, I know they want to be successful as a group.

“The biggest thing for me is when it doesn’t go well on this journey that we’re on, what do you do next? How do you affect the next thing that happens?

“We have to get them back into a positive mindset quickly. That’s the only way to improve things from my experience in football.

“We know we fell below what our standards are tonight, and we have to get better.”

Despite an early shot, Barrow came out on top in the early exchanges, eventually getting their breakthrough through Whitfield, drilling his effort in the far corner of Owen Evans’ net.

But the Welsh keeper would not last long in the game, going down injured after 33 minutes. He was replaced by Jackson Smith.

Regarding Evans’ injury, the Walsall boss continued: “We think it’s his calf. We’ll have a look at it, but he said it felt similar to the injury he had at the end of last season, but in the other calf.

“We’ll have to look at it. Hopefully it’s not bad because that was 10 days to two weeks.”

The Saddlers return to action on the weekend, when they travel to Derbyshire to play the National League North side Alfreton Town for the second round of the FA Cup.

Writer’s View

It was yet another difficult watch for Walsall fans as they didn’t really create much until the last fifteen minutes of play. The result marks the sixth match without a win in a row. Barrow would have always been a tough ask to get a result from due to their form, but some of the matches in that run, against Harrogate Town and a struggling Forest Green Rovers would have been great chances to get some points on the board. On paper, getting a sixth tier side in the FA Cup should be a great chance to reset for Mat Sadler’s side with a victory before facing Notts County at Meadow Lane.

Barrow once again demonstrated their dominance which has them deservedly at the top end of the table. Pete Wild’s side have ground out results against some of the big clubs in the league, including Bradford City and a win against Lancashire rivals Morecambe. The Bluebirds are the in-form team of League Two right now, and they will hope to keep the 10 game unbeaten run going into the Christmas games, where they play Stockport County on Boxing Day.

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About Lewis Gray 81 Articles
Third-year Journalism Student at Salford University. Writing mainly about League Two.

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