Nicholls hails Smith influence

Nicholls: Saddlers have more freedom

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Alex Nicholls has praised manager Dean Smith for allowing the attacking freedom which has helped spark Walsall's upturn.

The striker has played his part in the club's resurgence, starting all eight of Smith's matches to date and, more recently, chipping in with two goals in three games to help the Saddlers take seven points from a possible nine.

Nicholls puts the positive change, along with his own impressive form, down to Smith's attacking approach.

"The manager wants us to use our energy in more attacking departments, getting plenty of crosses and shots in," he told the club's official website.

"He has given us the freedom to switch sides, so if I am playing on the right then I can switch to the left or switch up front.

"Our game is all about going forward and attacking with pace and Dean has instilled that freedom in us to do that. And it bodes well for the next few games."