Skip to main content Skip to site footer
League One

Smith hails Saddlers spirit

13 March 2013

Walsall manager Dean Smith praised his young side's team spirit after they beat promotion rivals Tranmere 2-0 at the Banks's Stadium to extend their unbeaten run to eight games.

The hosts took the lead in the 50th minute when Febian Brandy was tripped by Danny Holmes and Will Grigg notched his 18th goal of the season with a low drive from the subsequent penalty.

Seven minutes later a fantastic 30-yard shot from Craig Westcarr increased the Saddlers' lead and Rovers rarely looked capable of saving a point.

"The lads have that spirit and work ethic in abundance," Smith said. "Craig Westcarr scored a fantastic goal but you can also talk about Will Grigg scoring another penalty or two great blocks by James Chambers.

"It had to be a battle and we knew what to expect from Tranmere. The lads are comfortable and confident in their own ability and at times played some very good football."

Several Championship managers were at the game and Smith admitted that was to be expected for a young team doing well.

One target could be former Manchester United striker Brandy although he has indicated he wants to stay at the Banks's Stadium and may sign an extended contract.

Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore was furious with his team's performance as they lost valuable ground in the promotion battle.

"It was not good enough, simple as that. Powder puff, mentally weak. Everything that could go wrong went wrong," he said. "We had a chance here to put a lot of space between us and Walsall and I can only apologise to our fans (482 who were present) who had worked all day and at least expected the players to put a shift in. It's totally unacceptable.

"We were second best from start to finish. The penalty was a bit harsh, probably bang on the line, but once that went in you saw our heads drop. It's a good job we are not in a relegation battle or we would go down playing like that. It's done my head in."

Advertisement block