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Laird Pleased With Walsall Win

1 March 2014

Scott Laird thinks the three points Preston North End picked up against Walsall were made sweeter because of the free-flowing style of play their opponents usually showcase.

The left back described the Saddlers as a ‘very good footballing team’ following the 2-1 win over Dean Smith’s side, during which Bailey Wright scored the winner.

Laird was also happy with the limited amount of chances North End’s defence allowed and suggested the hosts could count themselves unlucky not to have scored more than twice. 

“Another good three points against a very good footballing team,” he told PNE.Com.

“Walsall are a good team and when they come to our pitch, like we saw Oldham do when they came to us with their brand of football, on a big pitch they caused us a few problems.

“But I think we defended stoutly, two of the weirdest goals I’ve probably ever seen at the start and then I think after that we limited them to very little chances and on the day I think we could have scored a few more.”

Preston opened the scoring inside the first three minutes as Walsall defender Paul Downing passed into his own net, beyond an on-rushing Richard O’Donnell. 

“We got given that goal and that’s the bit of luck we’ve been waiting for this season, we haven’t really had anything like that for us,” Laird said.
“We should have taken advantage of that but we made it hard for ourselves.”

The visitors pulled level just two minutes later as midfielder Sam Mantom, who was sent off for a challenge on North End striker Joe Garner in the second half, slotted into the bottom corner from just inside the area.

The chance was created on the back of a poor throw-in from Laird, who was disappointed with his mistake.

“I hold my hands up, I should have cleared it but at that point in the game, just gone 1-0 up I should have just threw it down the line,” he explained.

“I tried to throw it across the box so we could start playing and build our attacking play but, looking back on it, I should have just launched it down the line.”

Fortunately for the Lilywhites, Bailey Wright headed home in the 29th minute from a pin-point Paul Gallagher free kick for what proved to be the winning goal.

“Bailey’s always a threat at set pieces, we’ve got a lot of threats from set pieces in this team,” Laird said.

“But, as I say, we haven’t scored as many as we would have liked and should have from our set pieces recently and it’s good to see a set piece come off with a good delivery from Gally.”

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