16 September 2023

Michael Flynn hails Swindon’s patience in win over Walsall

16 September 2023

Michael Flynn was happy with how his Swindon side managed to change the game as it went on during their 2-0 win over Walsall.

Charlie Austin’s goal with just two minutes played set the Robins on course for three points to maintain their unbeaten start to the league season.

They had to wait until two minutes from time for Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s clincher and Flynn said: “I thought we started really well, but after that we kind of played into their hands for a while as they played the box in midfield.

“That created an overload in midfield and stopped us from building from the back as fluently as we usually do.

“And we were also too sloppy on some passes, Isaac Hutchinson was given too much space at times on the turnover.

“The longer the game went on, we knew we were going to have to come out and be a little bit more adventurous.

“They have some good players at Walsall – and I should know because I signed a load of them – but the minute they went 3-5-2 we really took control.”

Free-scoring Swindon took just two minutes to find the back of the net when Remeao Hutton found Austin in the middle and he headed beyond the dive of Owen Evans.

Murphy Mahoney denied Freddie Draper and equaliser and Austin went close to a second when he was allowed too much space outside the box and struck a low rasping drive just wide.

Walsall were reduced to 10 men after Tom Knowles was dismissed for two bookings in quick succession and Swindon wrapped up the three points two minutes from time as Liam Gordon and Walsall overplayed at the back and Hepburn-Murphy got ahead of Evans and steadied himself before tucking into the empty net.

Walsall boss Mat Sadler felt his team did not respond well enough to their early setback.

He said: “I thought the game was lost in the first two minutes where we conceded, that was the frustration for me.

“We had opportunities to go and counter-attack. It felt like we tried to go and score too quickly when there was the chance to play through them, which is what I thought we could do. But they are a good team in the division and we are a good team in the division.

“It felt like we’ve missed an opportunity. That’s what it felt like for me watching the game, that you felt like there was going to be a moment where we got back into it, got that goal.

“Liam will win matches for us, he will save matches going in defensively and he will win matches for us attacking-wise.

“He’s a fantastic person. We all make mistakes.”

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