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19 May 2016

Boss says Walsall must believe...

Jon Whitney says Walsall’s players must manage their emotions in tonight’s play-off semi-final second leg against Barnsley. 

The Saddlers face an uphill task after losing the first-leg 3-0 at Oakwell. 

No team in the 29-year history of the play-offs has ever overturned a three-goal first-leg deficit – but Whitney says his players have to believe they can do it. 

“This is all about whether you really believe you're going to beat the opposition,” he said. 

“It’s about managing your emotions. We can all have these words and we can hear people shouting ‘come on’ but, deep down, do you really believe you’re going to go out and beat this opposition? 

“You can be beat before you go out. Roy Keane was really big on that. 

“I don’t mind if no-one says anything before a game because it’s all about what gets you motivated.

“Whatever it is, the players have to make sure they’re right for a battle – not a football match – but a battle. Go and get kicked in the teeth, get up and get kicked in the teeth again. 

“And then at the end of it, you can sit down, completely spent, knowing you did your all.”

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