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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 August, 2004, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
Merson rues substitution
Paul Merson
Walsall player-boss Paul Merson admits he was wrong to substitute himself in their 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

Merson went off after 66 minutes with the Saddlers leading 2-0, and he said: "I'll be honest, it's the first ricket I've made as a manager.

"We were so comfortable that I took myself off, but it changed the game as they thought they could push forward.

"We had a lackadaisical five-minute spell where we didn't cope and they scored two goals."

The former England midfielder added: "It's the most gutted I've been for a long time.

"But I'm very confident now that when we go away from home, we can win games, as Walsall haven't had a very good away record for the last couple of seasons.

"Bournemouth pass the ball around well, plus they've got the big lad (Steve Fletcher) up front who will win 90% of his headers when they need to chase the game.

"I felt for the second goal, we got sucked in as three players jumped with him, who were never going to beat him in the air - and it left the midfield player (Wade Elliott) free.

"But we've showed tonight that we're capable of beating anybody."




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