McDonald taught a lesson by Saddlers
WALSALL went top of League One by crushing crisis club Blackpool and Seasiders boss Neil McDonald thinks the soaring Saddlers have what it takes to stay there.
From the moment Romaine Sawyers poked Walsall in front, the result was never in doubt and he added a second late on, with a Sam Mantom header and a Tom Aldred own goal in between.
It was Walsall’s sixth win on the spin in all competitions and even in his anger at seeing Blackpool slip to a fifth consecutive loss, McDonald’s admiration for the visitors shone through.
He said: “We were shown how to play football, in both defence and attack – it was men against boys.
“We need to watch the video very, very closely – not just of our mistakes but how Walsall played because I thought they were excellent.
“If we can inspire ourselves to be like them, we might give ourselves a chance of climbing up the league. They are the best team we’ve played so far this season.”
McDonald is struggling to convince reinforcements to come to Bloomfield Road, with the continuing fan backlash against the club’s owners, the Oyston family.
But he knows fresh faces are desperately needed, adding: “Realty has hit in, we’re just not good enough at the moment.
“We just can’t get new signings over the line, whether the players don’t want to come to Blackpool or what. But I’ll keep on trying, that’s all I can do.”
Blackpool started well, determined to end a rotten winless run dating back to January, and skipper David Ferguson stung the hands of Walsall keeper Neil Etheridge inside a minute.
It would be the last time Etheridge was tested and, a few minutes after Sawyers blazed wide from ten yards he made amends, poking Walsall in front from Jason Demetriou’s through ball.
Blackpool’s wretched luck continued after the break as Aldred turned Rico Henry’s dangerous cross into his own net.
From there they crumbled as Tom Bradshaw could have had a hattrick, twice denied by keeper Kyle Letheren and crashing another shot off the post.
But Mantom bulleted home a header from Demetriou’s cross to make it 3-0 and Sawyers rounded off the rout with a 25-yard screamer.
Walsall also have a glamour Capital One Cup tie with Chelsea to look forward to and smiling Saddlers boss Dean Smith said: “We’re on a hell of a run at the moment.
“It’s pleasing to be top and to win six games on the spin is an achievement in itself – that’s what’s really pleasing.
“We’re there to be shot at now but I can see the desire in the players’ eyes at the moment to keep getting better and keep winning.”
STAR MAN JASON DEMET