Head Coach on an impressive weeks training ahead of Oldham trip...JON Whitney says his players will need to stand up to a ‘tough’ Oldham outfit when they visit Boundary Park this weekend (Saturday, 3.00pm kickoff).
The Latics have picked up of late, recording three wins and four clean sheets in their last five games, as they bid to avoid the drop.
Meanwhile, the Saddlers head in to the game off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield United, just our second league setback on the road this season, but Whitney has been buoyed by the response of his players.
“They’ve been really at it this week and we’ll need to be on Saturday as well,” he warned. “We’re expecting a tough, tough game.
“I know John [Sheridan] and what he will demand from his players. He’s very driven and committed and they’ll be in our faces.
“But we’ve got to have the bravery and know-how to capitalise on their weaknesses and impose ourselves and how we play our game.
“We’ve set out on how we think we can hurt them and we’re ready now.
“Sheffield has been put to bed and we need to be dynamic and proactive in our approach to Oldham.”
The Saddlers make the trip up to Greater Manchester eight points behind second placed Burton Albion with two games in hand.
A busy April schedule sees the Saddlers play 6 games in 18 days but Whitney is looking for the players to embrace the hectic run of fixtures.
“We, as a group, expect to try and win every game.
“Bar a couple, we’ve been in every game this season and that’s why we are where we are.
“If we can maintain that heading in to the final eight matches and achieve two points a game then we won’t be far off the top two.
“We have to make sure we don’t let Burton and Wigan get away and keep looking over their shoulder.
“We have to be a thorn in their side and get them thinking “ahh Walsall, they never go away”. We’ll achieve that by being a driven, high tempo team."
And despite the tightness at the top of the division, the Saddlers boss insists there’s no more pressure on the side now, than there has been all campaign.
“Pressure comes from being asked to do something you can’t do,” he added. “We can all do what we’re asking of them, so there’s no pressure.
“We talk about this emotional baseline. We don’t get too emotional when we win or too down when we suffer a defeat.
“We just look at some of the basics that we’ve done well over the season and If we can gain those little inches on the teams around us then we’ll be in a great position."
Oldham v Walsall is LIVE on Saddlers player from 2.50pm on Saturday. Subscribers can tune in to Dale Moon and Mick Kearns as they take you through all the action.