James Baxendale: Walsall winger signs three-year contract

Walsall winger James Baxendale has agreed a new three-year contract.

The 20-year-old scored four goals in 34 games in his first season with the Saddlers last campaign, having joined following his release by Doncaster.

And despite only signing a new 18-month deal in January, his form has been rewarded with a a longer deal.

"With much of last season's reliable defence and midfield still in place, there is cause for optimism for a top-half finish again. A play-off place would be a major achievement."

BBC WM's Mike Taylor

"I've enjoyed my time here, got an opportunity to do well, build good foundations and I'm looking forward to kicking on," he told BBC WM.

"We've got a good squad of players here at the minute and there's a familiar look to the side and that can only breed good things.

"We've all got good relationships with each other. The way the management work and the way we all work together, it's somewhere I want to be where I'll improve as a player, and we'll improve as a team."

Last campaign, the Saddlers recovered from a 16-match winless run to finish just six points outside the play-offs.

And Baxendale believes this has only served to motivate his side towards another play-off push this term.

"Last season I personally think we could have made play-offs, and we were unlucky not to," he commented.

"This season we've got determination to put right last season's wrongs. We know what it takes and we know what we've got to do and we're looking forward to the challenge."