19th Oct, 2017

Pressley praises loan duo after Walsall stalemate

Coventry Editorial 1st Dec, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

STEVEN Pressley praised the impact of loan signings Gary Madine and Matthew Pennington after his side were held to a goalless draw at home to West Midland rivals Walsall.

Despite creating a number of chances, particularly in the second half, the home side were unable to find a breakthrough at the Ricoh Arena.

Both Madine and Pennington, who joined on a short term loan deal from Premier League side Everton, impressed throughout.

But Pressley was left fuming once again after being denied what looked like a stone-wall penalty when Madine was manhandled to the ground inside the area during the first half.

“Again we didn’t get the call on the penalty,” said Pressley.

“It is another contentious decision that hasn’t gone our way, but I haven’t spoken to the referee about the decision.

“As I’ve said before though if you keep working hard these decisions will turn.

“Gary was outstanding and one of our best performers today. The link play is so important and I’ve said that since we lost Leon Clarke in January. Gary was a focal point and has been brilliant.

“Also young Matty coming into the side today, I thought he was outstanding. He had only trained one day with us too which is impressive as he put in a performance beyond his years.”

A disappointing opening period saw Walsall frustrate the Sky Blues but the hosts raised their performance after the break and created a number of chances to steal all three points.

Madine forced Richard O’Donnell into a fine stop with an audacious 40-yard volley and the tall striker missed two headers moments later.

Simeon Jackson was introduced late on but the hosts failed to find break down a stubborn Walsall side.

“It was a really tough League One game against an in-form Walsall side,” the City boss added.

“They have the best defensive record in League One and you can see why. But I thought after the opening 20 minutes we had control of the game over long periods and we certainly had the vast majority of possession and pressure.

“We worked exceptionally hard and we put them under a lot of pressure particularly in the second-half, we hit some great crosses into the box and we were very unfortunate not to win the game.

“A pleasing aspect is that we now have our third clean sheet in four games, which gives us a foundation to build on.

“Full credit to Walsall for dealing with our pressure, they worked hard to keep a clean-sheet but overall it was a reasonable performance, not a top performance. We worked hard and I think our play merited the three points.”

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