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Scott Laird adamant Walsall will stay up

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Scott Laird is adamant Walsall will win their battle to stay in League One – because they are a team creating chances.

Scott Laird

The Saddlers host rock-bottom AFC Wimbledon at the Banks’s Stadium tonight in what is a crunch relegation six-pointer.

Laird rejoined Walsall for a third loan spell last month and made his first start under Dean Keates in the 2-0 loss at Blackpool on Saturday.

In that game, Keates’ side created a host of second-half chances.

But they failed to take any of them – with a penalty miss from Matt Jarvis summing up their afternoon.

Laird though believes Walsall’s recent performances should have led to better results.

And he is convinced the team has enough quality to win the race for survival.

“Results need to change – there is no doubt about that,” the defender said.

“I would be worried if we weren’t creating anything.

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“But I think everyone at the Blackpool game could see in that second half we could have scored two, maybe three goals.

“They weren’t just chances, they really should have been goals.

“We lost the game, that is the bottom line. But we are still creating chances and since I have come back, we have been creating chances.”

Blackpool had four attempts on target in the game at Bloomfield Road to secure their 2-0 win.

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Prior to that, the Saddlers’ last three defeats were all to a 2-1 scoreline with Scunthorpe, Plymouth and Rochdale victorious.

But in each of those matches, those sides registered just two attempts on target.

And Laird says he’s never seen a run like it in his career.

“When you talk about the number of shots the opposition have on target it sounds like excuses,” the full-back continued.

“But since I have been here, every game I’ve seen – we’ve been in it.

“We are not really being threatened on the other side – but when we are threatened, we concede.

“It’s ruthlessness.

“The opposition are being more ruthless than us.

“They are keeping it out in their box and when they are getting chances they are taking them.

“When you are down the bottom nothing seems to go for you, nothing seems to go in the net.

“It’s one of those things. What we have got to do is stick together as a club, that’s the players, the management and the fans – we all need to stick together.”

Walsall face a Wimbledon side tonight who are rooted to the bottom of the League One table and are 10 points from safety.

But while the Dons look destined to be relegated – Laird says they will still be a huge test for the Saddlers.

“This league is a funny old league,” the 30-year-old said.

“I have played in it for a long time – eight years and I’m back in it now.

“Anyone can beat anyone.

“We have to be on our game 100 per cent if we are to come away with a win.

“It doesn’t matter that they are bottom.

“Anyone can beat anyone and we really have to be on it to come away with three points.

“If we do – if we can be a bit more ruthless in both boxes – then I’m sure we will pick up three points.”

Laird has enjoyed an outstanding relationship with Walsall's fans in his three stints with the club.

Before kick-off at Bloomfield Road, supporters sang 'we all dream of a team of Scotty Lairds.'

And the former Preston man said the team need the fans now more than ever.

"I know the fans have been really frustrated recently and they have had every right to vent that," Laird added.

"They can say whatever they want because we haven’t given them anything to shout about.

"Now we have all got to stick together and find this win. It is coming. This run cannot continue.

"The win is just around the corner and when we got one I'm sure we will go on to get another."

Laird continued: "I think everyone knows I have a great fondness for this club and for the fans.

"I don’t know what it is, when I was here last time I just loved the place. I was so excited to come back.

"And I know I am going to be part of a team that stays in League One."

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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