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

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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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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

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Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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