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4 April 2014

Coach expecting Saddlers to be a tough nut to crack

Coach Rob Page says he knows what to expect when Walsall come to Vale Park on Saturday and he believes Vale are in for another tough game, against a good footballing side.

Vale finally broke their Walsall hoodoo with a victory at the Bank’s Stadium earlier this season and now have a rare double over the Saddlers in their sights, but Page has warned Vale will need to be on their toes.

He said: “I watched them play Rotherham, albeit two or three weeks ago, and they are a good footballing team, nothing that you don’t expect to see from a Walsall team, so we are in for a tough game, we know that.

“Anybody playing at this stage of the season is playing for points, whether it is to get in the play-offs, automatic promotion, or fighting to stay in the league, every team is playing for something.

“Walsall are a couple of points above us and they still think a play-off place is achievable, so we are in for a tough game on Saturday.

“I think if we were in the thick of it ourselves – in the top three, four or five, there would be a few six-pointer games coming up.

“We were pleased with the second half performance in our last game and we have got to acquit ourselves in that manner in every game for the rest of the season and finish on a high note.

“I watched Walsall away at Rotherham and I don’t think they could play out from the back any more if they tried to.

“Everybody knows what Rotherham are about, they are a four-four-two team, so whether that was in their mind and they thought, we will go and play anyway, I don’t know.

“But we expect them to play in exactly the same way and do the same as they did there. I think they looked to set up their stall to play out from the back and they play through the thirds and they so it quite well.

“They have got some good players in the squad that are capable of doing that and playing that style of football, so we have got our work cut out.

“If I can criticise them a little bit, they look to overplay sometimes – or they did when I saw them – and sometimes they set themselves up to give possession away in sometimes the wrong area, then you can attack.

“But they do look a quality team, they play football all over the park and we have got to impose ourselves. It is our home pitch, can we stop them doing that and play to our strengths?

“I have said it a few times, if we are at our game and we are on it, then there is no reason what we can’t get a positive result.”


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