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Furious Martin O’Connor savages Walsall

By Joseph Masi | Sport | Published:

Martin O’Connor says he’s never been involved in a performance as bad as the one Walsall put in at Accrington.

Martin O'Connor

A display lacking hunger, passion and quality and saw the Saddlers slip to a 2-1 defeat at the Crown Ground on Saturday.

The match was the first since O'Connor stepped up to be interim boss following the departure of Dean Keates.

But the 51-year-old, who enjoyed a glittering playing career, was left angry and embarrassed by the display that leaves Walsall 23rd in the League One with just four games to play.

"I have never been in a team or been associated with a team that has not performed," O'Connor said.

"It is something that is new to me. How can anybody be happy with that?

"There was nothing, it was a non-performance. It was embarrassment.

"The fans came out even though we have been on the run we've been on. And they expect to see us run about and make tackles, they expect to see energy and desire.

"But we had eight or nine players who did nothing for 90 minutes. The players have been told that, in no uncertain terms."

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With Morgan Ferrier, Corey Blackett-Taylor and Matt Jarvis all out through injury, O'Connor opted for a 3-5-2 formation in Lancashire.

It was the first time the Saddlers had lined up in the system this season.

But the interim boss said formations don't matter when players put in such abject displays.

"Morgan Ferrier has gone down with an injury, Corey Blackett-Taylor has gone down with an injury and we needed some width," O'Connor continued.

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"That was a way we could get width. But whatever formation you play, you have got to have a bit of desire and show a little bit.

"Sometimes we were scared to play. It was a poor pitch. But you have still got to show desire. Accrington showed desire.

"For me, when you analyse the game, it’s just nowhere near good enough.

"The standard wasn't good enough for any division let alone League One where we are fighting for our lives."

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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