“We Were Gutted” – Walsall Boss Admits Frustration

Walsall manager Mat Sadler admits he was frustrated to see Tuesday’s League Two clash with Morecambe postponed just 75 minutes before kick off.

It was the second time the fixture has been forced to be rearranged, with the tie originally scheduled for early January. However, both teams progressed to the FA Cup third round, forcing the game to be switched to this week.

Persistent rainfall in the West Midlands saw the referee deem the pitch unplayable and the decision to call the game off so close to kick off was widely criticised by supporters. The Saddlers boss was equally perplexed, saying in the aftermath:

“Both teams were fully aware it was wet but for me the pitch looked playable. Both managers were out here and wanted to play. They (Morecambe) didn’t want the extra game, we certainly didn’t want the game to be pushed to a certain time.

“It felt like what I was watching in terms of the ball. It didn’t look like it was sticking in too many places. I don’t know. It was a strange one. The referee’s integrity is of course never in question but it felt like both managers really wanted to play the game.”

Walsall host Newport County tomorrow at the Poundland Bescot Stadium knowing a win will see them move above their opponents. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Sadler was full of praise for the Welsh outfit, further admitting his frustration over the midweek postponement whilst reiterating that his team need to be at the top of their game:

“A good manager, good assistant manager and a good coaching team so all of those things come into play.

“They’re really good people and I’m pleased to see them doing well because I know they had some tough times earlier in the season with the injuries that they had but for us, we’re desperate for the next game after the disappointment on Tuesday.

“We were gutted that game didn’t go ahead, we know when it has been rearranged for but we now throw all our energy into Saturday and we look forward to that being the next game.

“We’re going to have to be right on top of our game, of course we are. We are going to have to match that energy, match that intensity and we look forward to the challenge of it.”

The Saddlers are winless in three, but a late play-off charge is not out of the question. They are currently six points off the top seven, with the majority of those above them having played at least a game more. Newport will provide a tough test though and are unbeaten in their last six league outings.

Writer’s View

Although recent form hasn’t been good, League Two is a division that can turn on its head in the blink of an eye. With the constant turnover of games, Walsall could find themselves in the play-off hunt over the next few weeks if Mat Sadler can get his team firing again.

Tuesday’s postponement would have been incredibly frustrating, especially with the call coming so close to kick off. The manager will be hoping he can avoid any more victims of the weather and the risk of a potential fixture pile-up. although his primary thought will be to return to winning ways tomorrow afternoon.

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