Smith lauds fluent Saddlers

Manager Dean Smith saluted Walsall's playing style but admitted their defending must improve after they bowed out of the JPT on Tuesday.

Last Updated: 10/10/12 at 11:15   

Smith: Ambivalent after defeat

Smith: Ambivalent after defeat

The Saddlers have won plenty of admirers for their impressive passing game this season, which has taken them into the top half of the League One table, but three home defeats in the space of a week has halted their progress.

Port Vale inflicted the latest of those having fought back to seal a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes, before going on to book their place in the northern section quarter-finals with a 6-5 shoot-out success.

Smith said: "I can't fault the way the lads played. We had total control of the game after Port Vale started really brightly for the first 10 minutes.

"We went two up then a sloppy pass led to Vale scoring with a shot which took a deflection. I said to the lads afterwards that we had lost the game on penalties, but not many teams at this level will try to play the way we are at the moment.

"We looked a very good team, but I have certainly seen better penalty shoot-outs. We have to defend better than we do at times. But it was a great game in a really good atmosphere."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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