Stand-in boss Frank Sinclair threw his support behind Port Vale’s Scott Brown after two goalkeeping mistakes helped Walsall secure a 3-1 win.
Brown’s hesitation allowed Elijah Adebayo to roll in an early opener and the keeper also gifted the Saddlers an own goal from David Fitzpatrick’s backpass.
But Sinclair, looking after the team for isolating interim manager Danny Pugh, backed Brown to come good next time out.
“Browny’s been magnificent for us all season so sometimes you just have to take them,” said Sinclair.
“He has earned us enough points this season with crucial saves at crucial times so we will support Browny because he’ll be down and disappointed with two of the goals.
“We’ll support him because we totally believe in him as our goalkeeper and it’s all about his reaction – not the mistakes – his reaction to the mistakes.
“But I can’t fault the effort of the players today, they were magnificent, we’ve obviously had a tough couple of weeks with the weather and losing people through Covid, especially Danny (Pugh) and we’ve worked accordingly as best we can.
“We were unfortunate today, you could say two goalkeeping mistakes have cost us at least a point.
“I’ve just said to the boys it’s about how we look after ourselves and brush this disappointment off now.”
Adebayo took his tally into double figures for the season, either side of Tom Conlon’s leveller in the 33rd minute that evaded Saddlers keeper Liam Roberts’ grasp.
And Walsall assistant coach Brian Dutton was in no doubt they had deserved to snap their five-game winless run.
“I think we deserved the win, and if we’re going to get to where we need to be this season it was one we needed as well,” he said.
“We needed that to kick-start us after five games where we haven’t got a win on the board, we definitely needed it. I think it comes off the back of a really good performance at Morecambe, winning second balls and being hard to beat.
“We took that into the game here, we got the early goal but we took our foot off the gas. It was difficult today but I think we reacted well, and took a good three points. Port Vale have had some positive results so it was always going to be difficult – it was a good win.”
Dutton also had praise for Adebayo, who has hit six in his six games against the Valiants, adding: “He’s a lad who’s got the ability to score one, two or three goals in a game, he has that ability, he’s in rude health, he’s confident every time he steps on the pitch.
“He has broad shoulders and a bit of arrogance – if you like that, he is the man.
“We have got plenty of key men but Elijah is the goalscorer and you’ll always be a key man when you’re sticking the ball in the back of the net.”
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