Manager Darrell Clarke says Walsall must put opposing teams to the sword to save his health after they ground out another 1-0 win as they claimed maximum points against struggling Scunthorpe.
Skipper James Clarke scored a superb second-half bicycle kick to hand the Saddlers a first home win of the season – and all three of Walsall’s Sky Bet League Two victories have come by a 1-0 scoreline.
Back-to-back wins have eased Walsall clear of danger but – after scoring just five times in their first 10 league games – manager Clarke wants more from his attackers.
He said: “Everybody says 1-0 is the perfect scoreline – not for me, not for your heart, not for managers. We want to be making more of our opportunities in the final third.
“It’s a platform but we know we can’t go through the whole course of the season with one goal winning us a game. That’s a dangerous game to play and I don’t set up my teams like that.
“We are nowhere near where I want us to get but it takes a bit of time and we have to try to win games along the way.
“It was a great match-winning moment from James and I thought we deserved the win, just edged a tight game against a team which will improve through the season.
“We are getting the basics right but we’ve got to get better with our forward play. You want to be trying to put teams to the sword when you are getting in very good positions.”
Scunthorpe, meanwhile, remain second-bottom after a fifth-straight away league defeat, having not picked up a point on their travels this season under Paul Hurst.
After Clarke’s met Danny Guthrie’s 65th-minute cross with his acrobatic finish, Scunthorpe’s only real chance of a leveller saw Ryan Colclough drag the ball wide after he burst into the box.
Hurst said: “The game was there for us to win but we didn’t do enough to push the tempo.
“It looked like two tired teams who were playing their third games in quick succession on a warm day and that’s not excuses, that’s just what I saw from both teams.
“I felt we put enough balls in there but I haven’t seen us get on the end of one. We’ve got to try to get a mentality into the players to really want to score a goal.
“I’m sure defensively Darrell will be saying ‘well played’ but from our point of view, we’ve got to try to make something happen.
“Rory Watson hardly had a save to make which is frustrating because there was a clean sheet there to be had and that is what you should pride yourselves on.
“We couldn’t force a goal and one moment of switching off has cost us.”