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League One

Saddlers showing satisfies Smith

23 September 2012

Walsall manager Dean Smith praised his young side after they came from behind the beat Preston 3-1 at the Banks's Stadium and move up to seventh in the League One table.

Striker George Bowerman, 21, was the star with two goals, one from the penalty spot. James Baxendale brought the Saddlers level after Joel Byrom had headed Preston in front.

"I told the lads this week I don't want us to be known as a young team, I want to be known as a good team. We have a lot of energy and belief in the side and a lot of good footballers," said Smith.

"Preston were on the back of a very good win over Hartlepool on Tuesday and we were on the back of a defeat but it was about players going out and believing what they are doing, and they did that," he added.

"The pleasing thing was that the fans stayed with us when we went behind, because they could see what we are trying to do."

Preston manager Graham Westley admitted Walsall were bright and purposeful and deserved their victory.

But when asked if he thought his side were second best all afternoon, he replied: "That's one way of describing the game but slightly insulting to my side.

"We went ahead and probably had slightly the better of possession, although not developing any sustained possession."

He added: "It was not a good day for us and we were not effective in the way we played. You have to learn if you are going to win consistently and we have not got carried away by a good run of results. We have been aware of some shortfalls in our game.

"We were forced by their pressure into altering out game and we were not very effective. We are learning and we must make sure we emerge stronger. We have put in some decent performances and shown we have a lot of qualities."

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