not even getting on the bench so we know we have to be at our best.
“I said at the start of the season, this league might suit the way we play better and you can see in spells that it does – but we need to sustain the spells for longer periods of time.
“There is belief, a lot of the lads have not played and this level and they will only get better.
“Our expectations are high, we aren’t here just to make up the numbers.
“Our manager probably wants us to win this league and then the Championship next year, that’s the way he is!
“But we have played all these teams in the past, we can hold our own, we have a lot of good players here who can play in this league and even higher.
“It’s a good club to be at, it’s on the up and we have got lads playing well which bodes well for the future.”
Boss John Coleman told the club’s official website: “It’s not a surprise that Connor (Ripley)has done so well. I had to be patient in the summer to wait for him and it was important not to panic.
“I had an inkling he would come and it is better waiting to get my first choice.
“Connor pulled off a number of good saves, he isn’t perfect yet but he is a very good goalkeeper.
“The thing I would have liked was to score more goals for the chances we have created.
“If we improve our conversion rate, we will win more games.
“I always thought we should be competing in the top half of the table, I knew we could compete in the top half with the strength of our squad.
“You have got to be positive as a manager and have got to have the belief and confidence in your squad but I am sure there are 20 managers saying the same.”
VIEW FROM THE CEMETERY END
WHAT a difference a week makes in football.
Two wins in four days and Accrington Stanley find themselves level on points with Sunderland as we sit pretty in fifth.
There are only four teams between us and the Championship at the minute, I’m chuckling to myself as I write that and why not? It’s late on Tuesday night and I’m ever the pessimist so I deserve to let myself get carried away occasionally.
It would seem that no one really gave us a chance at Walsall. The bookies unanimously had us down to get a beating and probably with good reason. The home side had good form heading into the game and probably fancied their chances in the sunshine.
From all accounts it looks as though we were pretty much under pressure throughout after getting the early goal.
We’re fantastically quick starters these days and when we do bag an early goal it steadies us massively, Billy makes no mistake with that.
Connor Ripley pulled off some saves there that would be fit for any side.
All the talk last week was of clean sheets and now he has a couple to hang his hat on nicely.
I think he looks good to play at a very high level and we should be very pleased he’s with us for now.
On to the home game and Zanzala finally gets his goal that I’ve been asking him for all year.
It’s chances like that he may have missed in games up to now this season and unfortunately the corner flag felt the brunt of his frustration if anyone saw that.
Class to see such passion, he needs to kick on now and add a few more to his tally but he’s causing real problems for teams at the moment.
Barlaser is unlucky not to have opened his account just yet. It would seem he’s something of a placement specialist and it’ll be sooner rather than later if he keeps pinging those efforts around.
I want to talk a little about the new Eric Whalley Stand which housed supporters for the first time on Tuesday too.
I’ve been a touch quick to say that I think it looks a little rushed and a bit like a lego brick when I’ve been chatting to other people on the terraces.
However, I was made to eat my words and thought it looked fantastic under the lights, really changing the dimensions of our famous old ground. I think it’s something the big man would have been proud of and to get the win as well was the cherry on the cake.
Imagine what that’s going to look like when the grounds full for big games! It’ll be tear jerking for a lot of us.
As always, we need to concentrate on the next game and Shrewsbury this weekend.
They have only won one game so far this season but are draw specialists.
It’s always a tough place to visit (partly because the ground is around a 20-minute walk from civilisation) but also in terms of the noise the fans make to the side of the pitch.
I’ve seen us win, draw and get beaten badly there so it’s certainly a lottery!
As always, hope to see you there. Let’s continue this fine form which doesn’t seem to be giving up, it’s been going on around two years now…