Salford boss Graham Alexander believes his side have signed “a heck of a player” after ex-Blackburn midfielder Craig Conway inspired them to a first-ever Football League away win at Walsall.
The signing of the 34-year-old was only announced an hour before kick-off after he had trained with the club for several weeks, but he soon set up Luke Armstrong for City’s opener.
Jake Jervis and Ibou Touray sealed the 3-0 victory in the second half as Salford bounced back from heavy defeats to Crewe and Forest Green.
Alexander said: “We’ve seen Craig’s quality from day one. He makes good decisions, he looks after the ball really well and he’s intelligent on the defensive side of the game as well.
“He left Blackburn because he wanted to play regular football, I think they offered him a contract but he showed the sort of lad he is by wanting first-team football and playing every week.
“His quality is undoubted. When we can get him up to his match fitness then we know we’ve got a heck of a player on our hands.
“He brought a composure to us, the lads were looking to give him the ball. He’s a great addition for us. I think the whole team responded to the quality that he brought to the team.
“I was pleased by the reaction, the composure and the mentality considering the last two results. It’s hard to keep your gameplan in place when you’ve come off the back of those games.”
Josh Gordon hit a post for Walsall when they were 2-0 down but Saddlers boss Darrell Clarke was angered by his side’s collapse as their run of four straight wins was ended.
Clarke, who was without experienced trio Danny Guthrie, Caolan Lavery and Rory Gaffney, fumed: “When we have two or three really important players out, we look like a development team.
“I hate using injuries as an excuse but we haven’t got that squad in depth that a lot of teams will have at this level.
“We’re nowhere near a top-seven League Two team. It’s going to take time, it’s going to take a couple of windows, that’s the way it is.
“We have come up against a Salford team that have probably got treble our budget, experienced men, and it was men against boys today.
“They have got to get used to being robust in League Two in every single game.
“The bare minimum is to win your individual battles and we didn’t do that. I don’t mind digging the players out. If they can’t take it, get out the kitchen.
“Players have got to take their chance otherwise they are going to fall by the wayside.”