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League One

Mixed emotions for Saddlers boss

11 August 2013

Manager Dean Smith was far from elated despite watching his Walsall side win 1-0 at Oldham to make it back-to-back victories at the start of their Sky Bet League One campaign.

James Baxendale's 25th-minute goal proved the difference as he fired home from 10 yards after Oldham's defence had failed to clear an Adam Chambers cross.

But Smith said: "We weren't at our best and certainly made it hard for ourselves.

"We weren't so good on the ball and looked a big lethargic.

"We didn't look like conceding and we were strong defensively. Oldham put us under a lot of pressure in the second half, but didn't really trouble us."

Smith, however, is delighted by Walsall's start to the season having won their opening league games against Tranmere and Oldham as well as recording a victory at Port Vale in the Capital One Cup.

"We have had three tough games in a week, but it's three points and a clean sheet away," he continued.

There was disappointment from Oldham manager Lee Johnson that his side failed to build on their 4-3 win at Stevenage on the opening day of the campaign.

Johnson was also convinced his side were denied two blatant penalties, one for a handball and another for a foul on Korey Smith.

"The effort was not bad and we had a go in the second half, but things didn't fall for us. We lacked energy and fizz," he said.

"I recently went on a managers course and we were shown all kinds of handballs.

"That was a stonewall and a banker. I mentioned it to the referee (Gary Sutton) afterwards and he told me that maybe it was a penalty.

"It is not an easy job. You get some decisions, but we didn't get that one."

After the Latics lost 1-0 in the cup against Derby in midweek, Johnson was also worried after seeing his side fire a blank for a second successive game having hit four goals in the league at Stevenage last Saturday.

"People say we have goals in us, but that was not the case here. We weren't potent and that it a bit of a worry," he said.

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