Dean Smith: Walsall manager targeting home improvements

Dean Smith
Dean Smith is the third longest-serving manager in the Football League

Walsall manager Dean Smith says the club must get their "brand" of football right at home if they are to mount a serious challenge for promotion from League One this season.

The Saddlers' tilt at a top-six finish last term was undermined by results at the Banks's Stadium where they won eight games, but also drew eight times.

"The home form's going to be key," Smith told BBC WM 95.6.

"We want to be more of an attacking threat and turn the draws into wins."

Smith's side did rediscover their touch at home towards the end of the campaign, winning their last three matches as they finished 14th in League One, 10 points outside the play-off places.

Banking on The Banks's
Between January 2014 and April this year, Walsall won only five times in 33 home league games, taking 15 out of a possible 99 points.
Beating Oldham in Saturday's opening game of the season will see them win four in a row at home for the first time since five wins on the spin in 2012-13.

"We finished really well, beating Crawley five-nil and Oldham two-nil and became a more entertaining brand at home," Smith added.

The Saddlers, who appeared at Wembley for the first time in their history in last season's Football League Trophy Final, have added three new signings this summer.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, defender Jason Demetriou and winger Milan Lalkovic have all joined, while striker Tom Bradshaw has agreed a new deal.

"At the start of every season there's optimism," Smith said.

"There's fresh impetus and we want to build on getting to Wembley because that certainly ignited the fans."

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