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Martin O'Connor: "There Was Nothing, It Was a Non-Performance"

Walsall interim manager Martin O'Connor was seething yesterday afternoon as the Saddlers slumped to a sixth defeat on the bounce and gave themselves a mountain to climb if they are to get out of the League One relegation zone before the season comes to an end in early May.
O'Connor, who is the main man at Banks's Stadium following last weekend's less-than surprising sacking of club legend Dean Keates, was unable to hide his disappointment as the Saddlers failed to make much of an impact upon relegation rivals Accrington Stanley, in a display which the 51-year-old labelled a 'non-performance'.

"When you talk a good game you have to show up and walk the walk as well. The players today did not perform at all. It wasn’t just one or two, it was seven or eight."

Following the defeat, which saw defender Nicky Devlin net his third goal of the season, the Saddlers sit 23rd in the League One table, three points off safety and with just four games remaining will need to do much better in order to avoid an unwanted visit to the fourth tier of English football.

Speaking to the assembled media, Martin said; "There was nothing, it was a non-performance. I feel like the fans, I am more than disappointed and frustrated. That was an embarrassment of a performance. And I’ve told the boys I’m not going to defend that.

"You can’t defend that. I said I wanted heart, desire and passion and ability and we got nothing. We gave two poor goals away. Accrington wanted it more than us. And they showed their quality. When you are down there you have got to fight and show a bit of quality and we didn’t.

"There was nothing and I feel sorry for the fans that travelled. That was a performance where you deserve to be where you are and you deserve to get nothing out the game."

O’Connor, who watched as Stanley defender Ross Sykes bagged a brace to secure his side the points, felt only two or three of his players put in an acceptable performance on the day, going on to admit that some of his players aren't prepared to fight for their futures, insisting that he will not be defending them should any criticism come their way.

Martin continued; "When you talk a good game you have to show up and walk the walk as well. The players today did not perform at all. It wasn’t just one or two, it was seven or eight.

"And when you come away from home and play against a team that are fighting for their lives, it showed to me today we aren’t a team that is prepared to fight for our lives. Yes, there has been some harsh words said.

"But for me, they are true words. And they have to deal with it because I am not going to defend that."
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