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League One

Coventry City manager Steven Pressley chuffed with win

5 March 2014

Coventry City manager Steven Pressley saluted his battling side after they ended a four-game winless run by beating Walsall 2-1 at Sixfields.

Substitute Nathan Delfouneso scored the winner and his first for the club since arriving from Aston Villa on loan in January, either side of Callum Wilson's opener and Malvind Benning's equaliser to send the Sky Blues six points away from the drop-zone.

And Pressley was pleased with his side's reaction to being pegged back to 1-1, and praised Delfouneso for impacting the game from the bench.

He said: "My team showed lots of different qualities to win that game. We pressed the game with great intensity in the first half, we were full of energy and deserved our half-time lead.

"After losing the goal, our reaction was brilliant and I was delighted for Nathan. He's had a difficult time since coming here with injuries but he showed if you get yourself out there, you get the rewards.

"It's been a difficult time for our players because they are dealing with a pressure that they shouldn't have to be dealing with based own points accumulated.

"They should be enjoying this time pushing for the play-offs but, instead, they are dealing with the threat of relegation.

"So I am delighted for them because they are such a good group."

The opener came on 22 minutes, when Chuba Akpom's ball over the top found Wilson who raced through unopposed to score his first goal since returning from a serious shoulder injury.

The Saddlers' equalised after 53 minutes when Febian Brandy's effort was parried by Joe Murphy and Benning tapped in the rebound from three yards out for his first of the campaign.

Delfouneso came on for Akpom after 62 minutes, and the striker scored the winner in the 84th minute when he finished Michael Petrasso's cross in from eight-yards out.

And Walsall manager Dean Smith was proud of his players and pleased with their performance despite going six games without a win and leaving Sixfields empty-handed.

"I'm disappointed and amazed that we have been beaten in this game," he said.

"I thought we were excellent. I just said to the players I'm really proud of the way they played and the way they moved the ball.

"Technically we were excellent. I think for their first goal Febian Brandy got a push in the back and they go up the other end and score.

"We're in a bit of a poor run at the moment where things aren't going our way but the response from the players has been excellent.

"We're pleased that Malvind got the goal but disappointed for the players because they played ever so well, and we're amazed that we've come away with nothing.

"The performance was terrific and despite the result it was a real positive to take from the game."

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