Saddlers boss hails battling side

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Walsall manager Dean Smith praised his team's battling display after they pulled off a shock 1-0 win over promotion-chasing Southampton at the Banks's Stadium.

Saints crashed to their first defeat in six games as the relegation-threatened Saddlers claimed the points after a goal from veteran striker Jon Macken, back in the attack after injury, in the 69th minute.

Smith said: "Our goal had a charmed life at times but I will take the luck that comes along because there have been games where we've had none."

He added: "Southampton are an excellent team with some good players, but we have a lot of heart and the lads showed that. We've taken four points from two successive home games, and we needed that if we are going to stay up.

"We have won the game against Southampton, but we are not anywhere near out of relegation trouble at the moment. We have some big games to come."


Southampton manager Nigel Adkins was bitterly disappointed with the result, especially after the way his team dominated long spells of the game.

He said: "We have lost a game of football and I am not going to hide away from that.

"We have to regroup and go again. It was a big blow but we have dominated the game and I can't fault the application of my players.

"Walsall battled very hard and rode their luck. We had a hell of a lot of chances, created a lot of opportunities but there was some inspired defending by the opposition.

"We shall pick ourselves up, though, and go again. We didn't get the three points we wanted, so what you have to do is pick yourselves up and go again in the next one."

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