Boss targeting the top half...
Jon Whitney is hoping his side can end 2016 on a positive note with victory at Oxford on New Year’s Eve.
The Saddlers are 15th at the halfway point in the season but can climb into the top half with a win at the Kassam Stadium.
Whitney’s men produced a dominant display to beat struggling Port Vale 1-0 last time out, and the 45-year-old wants more of the same against the U’s.
“We’ll be looking for a similar performance [to Port Vale],” said the 46-year-old.
“We can analyse teams, and I’m sure they’ll analyse us, but at the end of the day it’s about how much you want to win.
“As an individual and as a player, it’s about how much you are prepared to sacrifice.
“My players will be ready to give a similar type of performance - passion, quality and a bit of desire as well.
“We need to work hard, match them in all departments and then let our class show because we’ve got some great technical players in the team.
“It’d be nice to finish the year in the top half - that’s a nice target for me as a manager, and I would have taken that at the start of the season.
“It’d be a great foundation and building block to move forward into the new year.”
Michael Appleton’s Oxford are above the Saddlers only on goal difference, and Whitney insists his team will make it difficult for them.
“They’ve got a big squad there and some of the players I was after in the summer ended up going there,” he added.
“They were one of the favourites with the budget and what they spent. They’ll be looking to pick up more points but we’ve got to go there and make sure we make things very difficult for them.
“You can see from Bradford and Port Vale, we are difficult to beat and we have an attacking threat as well.”