Walsall are the Leicester of League One, says Saddlers' Demetriou

Jason Demetriou says that Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by Millwall did not flatter the Saddlers
Jason Demetriou says that Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by Millwall did not flatter the Saddlers

Walsall defender Jason Demetriou says one of the Saddlers' strengths in this season's promotion bid has been their ability to stay "under the radar".

The 28-year-old Cyprus international sees Walsall as League One's answer to Premier League leaders Leicester City.

"They've got great characters and good team spirit. And that's one of the main things we've got here," he told BBC WM.

"Added to our ability, our togetherness has been fantastic from the first day and is still strong," he added.

"That's 60 or 70% of it and we've got that in abundance. We think we're the one of the better teams in this league. But we've always been kind of under the radar.

"A lot of people have been expecting us to slip away but we've managed to do well and stay up there."

Just like surprise leaders Leicester in the top flight, Walsall have topped the League One table more than once this season.

And, despite the upset of a managerial change when Dean Smith left on 1 December, the Black Country side have responded well.

The unfancied, unsung Saddlers have only lost three times in 14 matches - and one of them was to Championship side Reading in the FA Cup - since Smith departed for Brentford.

They still stand well placed in second, four points behind leaders Burton Albion, nine points clear of the teams outside the play-off zone, but only a point ahead of third-placed Wigan Athletic and Gillingham.

Bouncing back from Bescot beating?

Walsall will head for strugglers Crewe this Saturday looking to respond to Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by Millwall.

But they can feel comforted by the fact that it was only their second league defeat under new boss Sean O'Driscoll - the other having been a 3-0 home loss to Rochdale on 2 January.

Moreover, on all the four previous occasions Walsall have lost in the league this season, they have responded well to win their next game.

"We've done well this season at bouncing back and I hope it's the same on Saturday," he told BBC WM.

Added to that, Demetriou was baffled by Saturday's eventual 3-0 scoreline, which he says certainly did not flatter the Saddlers.

"If we'd come in at half-time two or three up there'd have been no questions asked," he said. "I had the hump on the way home. But we don't get too high when we win and we don't get too low when we lose."

Demetriou on course to beat season's best?

Jason Demetriou has already scored four times this season - and two more goals would equal his previous best campaign's haul for Leyton Orient in 2008-09, in the days when he played as a winger.

Walsall's Jason Demetriou was talking to BBC WM's Richard Wilford.

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