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WHITNEY: RISE TO THE CHALLENGE

16 December 2016

Walsall welcome Bradford on Saturday…

Jon Whitney wants his players to rise to the challenge when they play Bradford at the Banks’s tomorrow. 

The Saddlers head into this weekend’s League One encounter on the back of successive defeats against Fleetwood and Oldham in the Checkatrade Trophy. 

And after a disappointing couple of results, Whitney is determined to turn things around and give the fans something to cheer about. 

“We are going to try hard over the next couple of months to give the fans what they deserve,” he said. 

“I’ve got to try and encourage them [the players] not to shy away from this challenge now, and rise to it. 

“Enjoy being a footballer and enjoy playing for Walsall Football Club, starting this weekend. We can build on something. 

“I’m excited about this challenge. I’ve overcome a lot of challenges in my life and in the grand scheme of things they may not be that important, but I’ll enjoy the challenge that this is.” 

Stuart McCall’s Bradford are in fourth place, eight points off the automatic promotion places, although they have failed to score in three of their last five matches. 

The Bantams’ visit will also see the return of two-time Saddlers loanee Jordy Hiwula, who has scored five goals in 25 appearances for City since signing on loan from Huddersfield. 

“He’ll be coming back to the Banks’ but we’ve got to make sure it’s not a nice day for them, and I’ll be picking a team to try and upset the form book,” Whitney added. 

“They’re a very good team – Stuart has got them playing some really attractive football, especially at home. 

“They’re not scoring that many though at the moment, so we need to find ways of trying to make sure that happens by nullifying their threat but being attacking. 

“We also need to make sure we’re solid at the back, that’s the most important thing for me now.”

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