Walsall came from behind to thrash Chesterfield...Interim head coach Jon Whitney heaped praise on his players after Walsall came from behind to thrash ten-man Chesterfield 4-1 at the Proact Stadium.
The Saddlers trailed to Jim O’Connor’s 19th-minute own goal, only for Tom Anderson to put through his own net at the other end to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Sam Mantom put Walsall ahead just before the hour mark and in the resulting melee, Chesterfield’s Dion Donohue was sent off for violent conduct.
Jordy Hiwula pounced on an Anderson error to make it 3-1 before Mantom added a smartly-taken fourth to seal Walsall’s first win in seven.
"We’ve all said a lot of things this week - me more than most trying to build some momentum with the fans and players,” said Whitney afterwards.
“I’ve tried to get the players to relax, to enjoy playing football again. The effort they put in today was fantastic.
"The fans too they had their part to play and their percentage really helped us, so we want to do that again and keep that momentum building.
"When we’ve gone on a run of games, it’s been because of the momentum and the tempo that we play at and the belief that the players have got.
“I told the players, just stop and look at each other. Look at the player you’ve got next to you. What a hell of a player.
"Look at the technical ability in him, look at the guile and resilience in Rico Henry. Look at the experience we’ve got in Jim O’Connor and Adam Chambers.
"Then you’ve got Jordy Hiwula coming in on loan with his energy. They are fantastic ingredients for success.
“It’s not always guaranteed but if you give me a performance, that’s all we can ask for.”
Over 800 Saddlers supporters roared the team on to victory – and Whitney wants the fans to do the same again at Fleetwood on Tuesday night.
“The fans were brilliant,” Whitney added.
“It’s a great credit to them because it can be difficult at times with money being tight. But it’d be fantastic if they can get themselves up on Tuesday.
“The fish and chips are great in Fleetwood so drive up just for that! And as well as that, you can watch a game of football!
“If we can have that support again then that’ll have a massive impact on the players.”