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Club News


15 August 2016

Club News


15 August 2016

Walsall remain unbeaten in League One after Oldham draw...

Jon Whitney felt a point apiece was a fair result after his Walsall side were held to a goalless draw at Oldham.

Substitute Andreas Makris went closest for the Saddlers with a powerful strike which Connor Ripley parried.

Simeon Jackson also tested the home keeper in a much-improved second half, while Franck Moussa, making his full debut, fired wide.

Lee Erwin had Oldham’s best opportunity on 70 minutes when he hit the post with a header from close range, but the match finished scoreless.

“I thought it was a fair result," said Whitney. "In the first 20 minutes of the second half I thought we could go on to win it.

At that point, we controlled it and had momentum. We were getting a lot of the ball and Franck (Moussa) was causing problems, while Andreas (Makris) looked a threat in the final third.

"Overall I’m happy. If you’d said to me that after two games we’d have four points from Wimbledon at home and Oldham away then I’d have taken it.

"We’re averaging two points per game and are on track, so I’m really pleased. "

The point, though, was overshadowed by injuries to two of Walsall’s first-team stars.

Playmaker Erhun Oztumer was withdrawn at half-time with a back problem, while left-back Rico Henry left the field on a stretcher after dislocating his shoulder.

“Erhun got a knee in the back early on,” said Whitney. “He tried to carry on but he stiffened up later in the half.

“Rico has damaged his shoulder. He dislocated it at Preston previously but it’s not as bad as the first time.

“I was physio when he suffered the injury at Preston, I went to the hospital with him and it took us a while to get that back in. It has definitely popped out but it has gone in quickly and he has not gone to hospital.

“That is a bonus but we won’t know for sure until we get the scan. We need to see what damage there is to the structure around the shoulder so we will see how long he is out for.”

With Henry forced off after half an hour, Southampton loanee Jason McCarthy moved over from centre-half to fill in at left-back.

“I thought he did really well,” Whitney added. “He’s a warrior. He’ll play anywhere as he just wants to play football. You put him up front and he’ll put a shift in.

“He played right-back quite a lot with my mate Gareth (Ainsworth) at Wycombe so he can play full-back and he likes to bomb on.

“We’ve got natural defenders and wherever you put them, they can do a job for you.

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