Skip to main content Skip to site footer
League One

Smith upbeat despite Scunthorpe setback

14 April 2013

Walsall were prevented from climbing into the play-offs after conceding a late equaliser to draw at Scunthorpe, but Saddlers boss Dean Smith believes his in-form side can still finish in the top six.

Centre-back Niall Canavan salvaged struggling Scunthorpe a 1-1 draw with an 88th-minute header. After a slow start, the visitors looked set for the three points they needed when leading marksman Will Grigg, back after injury, fired them in front from close range with his 19th goal of the season from a good pull-back by Craig Westcarr.

"We are still in a great position," said Smith, whose side are now unbeaten in 14 league games and are one point behind sixth-placed Swindon but having played a game more than the Robins.

"We have just now got to prepare ourselves to go again in our last two games of the season. This bunch of players have worked so hard in the second half of the season to get us into the position we are now in. I was disappointed with the way we played in the first half - and I told them so. I thought we came out in the second half and showed much more spirit.

"It was a difficult decision to bring Will Grigg back into the team after injury when we had been playing so well, but he is our leading scorer and you can't afford to leave someone like that out. That was underlined when he shot us in front early in the second half.

"We should then have gone on and killed the game off. We had the chances and I think we were unfortunate not to win. We have a very disappointed dressing room in there, but other results have gone for us and we have not lost any ground. We have now got to go again next Saturday when we take on Bury."

Scunthorpe remain in the bottom four, two points adrift of safety. But Iron boss Brian Laws believes he can still keep them up.

"It does look a difficult task now but we have got to keep believing we can do it," said Laws. "I thought our first half display was really good and we should have been a couple of goals in front. But the goals have dried up for us now and that is really hurting us.

"The goals are not coming at times when we are dominating games. I really believe that if we had scored first against Walsall, then we would have gone on and won this game. But you could see a reaction when it was they who scored just after half-time. Credit to my team though that they kept going to got back into the game with a late equaliser.

"Will that be enough - who knows? I can quite understand our supporters going away at the end feeling 'that is it'. But we cannot think like that. I know the situation we are in is now difficult but we have got to believe we still have a chance of getting out of trouble."

Advertisement block