Walsall boss Dean Smith says Wembley not affecting league form

Dean Smith (centre)
Walsall have never been to Wembley in their 127-year history

Walsall boss Dean Smith says they are working hard not to let their first-ever appearance at Wembley have a negative effect on their play-off bid.

The Saddlers have lost three of their last four League One games having taken seven points out of nine immediately after clinching their place in the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

"There can be a subconscious part of taking your eye off it," said Smith.

"We certainly haven't meant to do that by any means."

It is six weeks since Walsall beat Preston North End over two legs in the northern area final to seal their Wembley trip on 22 March against runaway League One leaders Bristol City.

"For me, football's about winning things," Smith added to BBC WM 95.6. "You don't very often get a chance to win a trophy and this is our best chance of getting to Wembley and winning a competition."

Although Smith is determined to get the best out of his side in the JPT final, he knows keeping the Saddlers in the hunt for promotion is also within reach.

"Our form over the month hasn't been great, yet we're only six points off it," he said.

"We won't give up on it and it only takes two wins in this league - you win two and you're on the cusp of the play-offs, you lose two and you're looking over your shoulder.

"We try and be as professional as possible and focus on the next game."

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