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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Money stops the rot at the Bescot
By Pete Oliver

Richard Money
Money has guided the Saddlers to the top of League Two
Walsall's fans have dubbed him Dicky Dosh, and so far their new boss has been right on the Money.

At the end of last season, when the Saddlers suffered a second relegation in three years, they looked for their seventh manager in nine years.

The man they turned to was Richard Money and after his first few months in the job, the appointment looks a wise investment.

Top of League Two with just one defeat from their first 13 games, Walsall have more than stopped the rot.

For Money too, it is proving a shrewd choice after he curtailed his coaching career abroad to take up the challenge at the Bescot Stadium.

I have always thought it was a club which, given the opportunity, you could do something with

Richard Money on Walsall
After successful stints managing in Sweden and Australia, the former Liverpool and Fulham defender wanted to return home.

His wife's family connections in Birmingham drew him back to the Midlands, where he had previously coached at Aston Villa and Coventry City.

"That was one of the deciding factors to come back," said Money, who last week became a grandfather for the first time.

"But I also felt the opportunity to come to Walsall was a good one.

"It's a club I know quite well from being around the Midlands and I have always thought it was a club which, given the opportunity, you could do something with."

Money told BBC Sport: "When I first met the chairman and the board I was impressed by the fact that they had been hurt by what had happened. They had a genuine commitment to do something about it.

Martin Butler
Striker Butler is just one of several new faces brought in by Money
"The structure here has always been in place. It's a terrific stadium and the club has a sound financial base with good training facilities.

"It was up to me to create the right environment for the players."

The 50-year-old brought in a handful of new faces, including strikers Martin Butler, Hector Sam and Tony Bedeau, defender Michael Dobson and goalkeeper Clayton Ince.

But using largely the same defenders, Money has also managed to create a near impregnable barrier to provide the platform for his side's promotion challenge.

Remarkably, Walsall are yet to concede a goal at home in the league, with their six matches yielding a 100% record.

"My philosophy is to build from the back. That's not being negative but you can't win without keeping clean sheets," said Money.

"They have always had footballers here and we want to try and play our football and when we can we have done that.

"But I felt we needed to be tough and needed to be able to defend at set-pieces and keep clean sheets.

The fans have not seen us concede a goal at home in the league, but when they do I am sure they will get behind us

Richard Money
"We are not silly and we know we will concede a goal at home at some stage.

"But we are very proud of the record and we want to do everything we can to keep it going for as long as we can."

Even when Money handed a debut to new signing Bertrand Bossu in goal at Chester last weekend, the Frenchman was not beaten.

In all, Walsall have kept nine clean sheets so far this season with Bolton the only team to breach their defences at the Bescot during a second-round League Cup win.

"When we went behind against Bolton the supporters were fantastic.

"They have not seen us concede a goal at home in the league, but when they do I am sure they will get behind us," Money added.

The former England 'B' international, who also had a spell managing Scunthorpe United in the mid-1990s, has raised the bar at a club which until 2004 was holding its own at Championship level.

And Money makes no secret of what is expected in Walsall's desire to regain that kind of status.

He said: "There has been a real expectancy amongst the squad and around the club that we will get promotion this year and we want to make sure that happens.

"It won't be easy. We have got 28 points from 13 games and there is hardly any gap between us and the sixth-placed team.

"The competition is difficult and things can happen with injuries and suspensions.

"But our aim is to do everything we possibly can to get promoted this year and get to the Championship as soon as we can after that."



SEE ALSO
Money delighted with Dobson move
07 Jun 06 |  Walsall
Money lures Bedeau to the Bescot
25 May 06 |  Walsall
Walsall unveil Money as new boss
03 May 06 |  Walsall


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