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24 November 2016

Walsall host Southend this weekend...

Jon Whitney is looking for a positive reaction from his players when the Saddlers take on Southend. 

Walsall suffered their heaviest defeat of the season on Tuesday night, losing 4-0 against Rochdale at Spotland. 

Whitney made no excuses for his side’s performance – but he is demanding an immediate response this weekend. 

“I’m looking for a positive reaction,” said the 45-year-old. “I’ll be putting sessions on today and tomorrow to see if the players are ready for it. 

“A performance like that, and you put pressure on yourself. The fans now want to see a reaction – the same as myself. 

“We all know that we dropped below the standards we’ve set ourselves over the last two months and it was not acceptable. 

“We’ve highlighted the areas we think we could have done a lot better and we want to see a reaction from that. 

“The biggest thing for me is I want my teams to be energetic, to enjoy it and we have to put it right on Saturday.” 

When asked whether he is considering making changes, Whitney responded: “Of course. After a performance like that, no-one is safe. I’m going to see who steps up to the plate today and tomorrow.” 

Phil Brown’s Southend are the visitors to the Banks’s on Saturday. The Shrimpers sit in ninth place, two points adrift of the play-offs, and have been in fine form of late, taking 15 points from the last 21 available. 

“They’re a really good team,” Whitney added. “Phil’s an experienced manager and he knows how to win games in this league. 

“They’re ninth now, but a win could move us to within two points of them. They get it forward early and play 4-4-2 at a high tempo. 

“They’re also good from set pieces and we need to pick a team that can cause them problems and cope with their physical side as well.”

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