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WHITNEY: A CHANCE TO MAKE HISTORY

29 April 2016

Two games left to achieve automatic promotion...

Head coach Jon Whitney has challenged his Walsall squad to make history by winning automatic promotion from League One.

With just two games remaining, the Saddlers sit third in the division, three points behind second-placed Burton.

Walsall’s two matches are at home to relegation-threatened Fleetwood and away to mid-table Port Vale, while the Brewers host play-off chasing Gillingham and visit third-bottom Doncaster.

And with a place in next season’s Championship the prize on offer, Whitney is urging his players to make the most of this opportunity.

“I’ve been here around 13 years now and usually, at this stage, we’re just seeing out the season,” Whitney admitted.

“Of course you still want to win games but now it’s a totally different ball game.

“We’re playing for livelihoods now, for memories and the history books - and that’s an incredible thing.

“It’s easy for me to say that because I’ve been a player, I’ve won promotions and now I’ve come this side and realised how quickly it passes you by.

“We keep trying to tell our players that we’ve got the opportunity to achieve a bit of history. That’s what we’ve got to drive for.

“It can change lives – not just for players but for staff. It’s an incredible opportunity for our players to have and one we’re capable of taking.”

Whitney believes this season’s promotion challenge is the result of the club’s long-term planning.

“For four or five years we’ve been building this philosophy to get us into this situation,” he added.

“It’s been a slow burner but what’s important is that it’s kept burning – we’ve never let the flame go out.

“We’ve kept believing and it’s starting to get a bit more heat now. The lads really believe.

“They understand we’ve got the play-off place but we also realise that it’s going to go right to the wire.”

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