Boss takes responsibility for first-round defeat...Jon Whitney lamented his side’s performance after Walsall were knocked out of the FA Cup in the first round by non-league Macclesfield.
John McCombe’s first-half header proved the difference, and Whitney admitted that he must take responsibility for the defeat.
“I’ll take this defeat for them,” said the 45-year-old afterwards. “I don’t think it was through a lack of effort.
“Before the game they wanted to do well but some of the decision making and the below-par performances, you’re not going to come through even against a non-league team.
“It becomes a level playing field when you take away the fact that they’re underdogs and playing with no tension.
“There was expectancy on our players and some of them were like rabbits in the headlights. That’s not good for me because I need to trust that some of these players can play in League One.
“I’ll take that defeat for the team and the criticism as well because that’s my job.
“We didn’t underestimate Macclesfield whatsoever and we knew what was to be expected from them. “We analysed their threats and we knew it was going to be difficult but you’ve got to find ways of opening teams up.
“We have to learn from it. It’s a negative experience but we can’t just forget it. We have to reflect and work out how we can prevent something like that happening again in the future.”