FOOTBALL: Lee Is Wary of Old Pal as Walsall Bid to End Away Blues; Wimbledon V Walsall
Walsall manager Colin Lee is concerned his Wimbledon counterpart Stuart Murdoch knows him and his tactics too well ahead of this afternoon's meeting in Milton Keynes, writes James Nursey. Lee and Murdoch served their coaching apprenticeship together at Watford, where Lee was in charge of the youth set-up and Murdoch was his No 2.
Lee subsequently made his mark as a manager at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Torquay before moving to Bescot in January 2002.
Murdoch, a former school teacher, has taken a different route; being promoted from Wimbledon's goalkeeping coach to manager in May 2002 in the wake of the club's dire financial problems.
However, Lee has the utmost respect for his friend, who kept the Dons in the First Division against the odds last season, despite virtually all their supporters deserting the club because of their move to Milton Keynes.
Lee said: 'I know Stuart very well, he is very thorough and intelligent. He knows the way I want to play and he knows the way I work.
'But on the day it is about the players and how they go about it. We have to have a determination firstly not to get beat, and secondly to go and win.
'Stuart may well change something which causes us problems but we have to adapt to that.'
Walsall are 15th in the league and on course to secure their Division One status but Wimbledon, who prop up the table, are really struggling after just one win in six games.
Yet Walsall, who lost 2-0 at Sheffield United in midweek, are so poor away from home they cannot take anything for granted. Lee said: 'Every game is important but the match against Wimbledon is really vital because if we were to beat them they would be 16 points below us. …