Walsall editor Ian Lowndes gives us his view on the league leaders this season.
Your season started well, but it’s recently tailed off. Why?
After picking up points whilst not playing well, we have come unstuck dropping points to Boston, Rochdale and Mansfield. In these games we just didn’t create enough and got out battled. The games at Hartlepool and verses Lincoln we played better but came up short in the final third. The problem is that this run may knock the confidence of the team which would leave a question mark over the teams mental strength.
At the beginning of the season, dropping down a division, did you believe that you would be where you are now?
We just didn’t know what too expect, some Saddlers fans were predicting a relegation battle on the back of the last three years of decline. However most Saddlers were hoping for play offs and a flirtation with promotion.
Ourselves are a surprise package in the mix, but who do you think will go up automatically this season, and then who will win the play-offs?
Hartlepool have the momentum and are my favourite for the title. Then for the other two spots it could be any from MK Dons Lincoln Swindon or us. I have to hope we take one of the spots. Failure to reach automatic promotion maybe too much and I wouldn’t be shocked to see a team sneak into the play offs and win them, Stockport or Darlington perhaps.
Do you have any memories of Stockport County?
I have a soft spot for Stockport County, and I remember my first visit there in the FA Cup. If my memory serves me well we were housed in what is now the home end in the days before your big new stand. I have often bumped into County fans on motorways up and down the country and I feel we share a common thread in today`s money rich football. I remember many a conversation with your fans as you took the league by storm under Dave Jones
Who have been Walsall’s key players this season?
Clayton Ince, Ian Roper and Martin Butler have provided the back bone for this seasons promotion push.
How many fans do you expect to make the trip to County?
I reckon that about 500 fans, I would expect that at least from Walsall.
Depends which Walsall turns up, we could see a game which could see us win 1-0 or equally lose 2-0.