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19 December 2016

Walsall held by Bradford...

Jon Whitney was full of praise for his Saddlers team after the battling 1-1 draw with high-flying Bradford. 

Isaiah Osbourne drilled the hosts in front on 49 minutes, only for ex-Saddler Jordy Hiwula to equalise four minutes later. 

Whitney, though, was delighted with his side’s response to back-to-back defeats. 

"I thought we created some really good chances and limited them, more or less, to a couple,” said the 45-year-old, who deployed a traditional 4-4-2 formation for the Bantams’ visit. 

“I thought we were really solid and we kept the ball well too. 

“Man for man, I thought we outmatched Bradford so credit to the boys because there were some outstanding performances,” he said. 

“I was happy with the two banks of four because players know which part of the pitch they should be in, both in and out of possession. 

“Bradford are a good side. They put teams under a lot of pressure and they have two wingers who carry the ball really well and two energetic midfielders. 

“But the big thing we have been focusing on is shape and making sure we are difficult to beat. 

"I'm happier with the two banks of four because it gives you a better idea to coach responsibilities, players knowing which part of the pitch they are in, in and out of possession. 

"The really big thing last week that we focused on is that we have to be difficult to beat, first and foremost, and then we attack from a defensive shape. 

"Throughout October and the times we've done it well is when we've looked really solid as two banks of four but we've also had a threat on the counter. 

"I think that was important [against Bradford] and we've built some stepping stones moving forward. 

"The one time we weren't solid, we got done. I know it was a little bit fortuitous with the ricochet, but it was the one time we were spread and they scored. Again, we will learn from that."

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