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Mat Sadler knows Walsall have ‘a long way to go’ to secure play-off place
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Walsall boss Mat Sadler says his side know the job is far from done despite climbing into the League Two play-offs for the first time this season with a 2-1 victory over Accrington.

On-loan defenders David Okagbue and Emmanuel Adegboyega netted from corners to give the Saddlers a fourth straight win after ex-Walsall winger Jack Nolan’s penalty put Stanley ahead.

It was a deserved victory for the hosts, who were unlucky the officials did not spot Liam Gordon’s first-half deflected cross had gone over the line before Lewis Shipley hacked it away.

“We’re seventh but there’s a long way to go,” said Sadler.

“Yes, we have put ourselves in the picture and the conversation but there is still so much hard work ahead and there will certainly be no drop off from us.

“From minute one we dominated the game. I was really impressed with how physical we were.

“I keep getting across to the lads that I want us to beat teams in different ways and today it was a set-piece way that we did it.

“Football is full of kicks in the teeth and moments change game and we showed that real resilience and determination we weren’t going to be beaten.”

Okagbue’s goal was his first in the Football League while Norwich loanee Adegboyega scored for the third time in four games.

“Emmanuel was tenacious in the tackle, wholehearted in it all and I was delighted to see him score,” added Sadler.

“He must think it’s so easy this game. You rock up, score in front of the fans and go home.”

Accrington, meanwhile, dropped to 15th, five points behind Walsall, and boss John Coleman was unhappy both Saddlers goals were allowed to stand.

“The disappointing fact is we’ve conceded from two identical corners and it’s two fouls on the keeper,” Coleman complained.

“On the balance they made more chances than us, we were hanging on at times, they missed a couple of sitters and you think it’s going to be your night.

“But that’s about the fifth time we’ve been leading with about 25 minutes to go away from home and not won, which is disappointing.

“I’m not making excuses as Walsall deserved to win but we deserved a level playing field – what wasn’t a foul for us was a foul for them, there was just no balance, it got painful to watch.

“But with how many injuries we’ve had, the fact we’re still competing against an in-form team shows how hard our lads work – I can’t knock their effort.

“We’ve got 18 fit players – injuries are an occupational hazard but it’s an unusual amount. If you take the top seven or eight earners out of any team, it’s a massive setback.”

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