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Preview: Powell looks ahead to Walsall clash

2 March 2018

Every word from Chris Powell ahead of Saturday’s game against Walsall.

On the preparations being affected…

“We had a good session on the Monday and then on Tuesday we had a friendly at Millwall which was abandoned 65 minutes, but the players who didn’t play had a good session at the David Lloyd’s Centre.

“We had problems on Thursday but today we’ve been in today (Friday) and the Club have been great. The ground staff and the volunteers have been absolutely first class and they managed to get an area for us to do some work and preparation for tomorrow at the training ground.

“I’ve been over to Roots Hall and on Friday morning it was in pretty good nick which surprised me. I was pleasantly surprised.

“We’re preparing as normal, we’ve gone through our pre-match analysis and preparation of Walsall like we always do.

“The squad will prepare the same way and I’ve now got virtually a fully fit squad as well.

“The players’ application has been first class, it was almost like they wanted to be out in the snow because we want to play the game.

“I just hope that the game goes ahead, the pitch is safe and more importantly for our supporters the roads, the walkways and the pavements and all the areas are safe.

“The priority is of the safety of everyone and the supporters come first in that.”

On having a fully fit squad providing a selection headache…

“We’ve now got a number of midfielders, which was an area we were light in. I was always worried that something might happen to Michael Timlin or Dru Yearwood because we only had an untried U23 in Michael Klass.

“To have Anthony Wordsworth, Josh Wright and Sam Mantom all fit creates headaches, but actually I know I’ve got people that know the level and have played at the level and that’s pleasing for us.

“Michael Kightly has trained and looked good and it’s allowed one or two knocks to clear, like Ben Coker after the Portsmouth challenge. It’s allowed him to have extra recovery time

“Players always play with knocks and it’s allowed everyone to get themselves into a good place.

“I think in some ways it’s helped us, but we want a game now, especially missing the Oldham game last week.

“It’s paramount importance that we get back playing and into the groove where the team left off.”

On the test Walsall provide…

“Portsmouth was a good game and we put them to the sword I felt from minute one.

“Getting the result was very good and we have elements of good play and actually maybe I was too harsh. I want the best from them all the time and it’s now a different proposition.

“We got a good result up at their place earlier in the season, but this is a different game.

“We had them watched on Tuesday; Kevin Keen and Roger Cross watched went to their game at Peterborough so we’re doing all the right things and we’ve got to make sure we nullify anything that we’ve seen that is a strength of theirs.

“But more importantly we’ve got to carry on in the same vain and manner that we have.

“We’ve been very aggressive with and without the ball, we’ve been high energy and teams haven’t handled that.

“We’ve got to keep that going and ask questions of Walsall. We’re a good side when we do that as we’ve shown recently in the games at home and away.”

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