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Club News


23 September 2016

Boss anticipating an entertaining match...

Jon Whitney is confident his Walsall team can get a positive result at free-scoring Peterborough tomorrow afternoon. 

The Saddlers are searching for successive league wins for the first time this season after beating high-flying Bolton 1-0 last weekend, despite playing 74 minutes with ten men. 

Grant McCann’s Posh, meanwhile, sit in ninth place - two points ahead of Whitney’s men – and are the division’s second-highest scorers with 15, although they have conceded 11. 

And Whitney believes the London Road contest has the potential to be an exciting game for the neutral. 

“Peterborough play the right way,” he said. “They play high tempo, attractive football, they get into the box and get shots off from distance. 

“Grant McCann, similar to me, was interim manager for part of last season and has now got the role full-time. 

“They’re the second highest scorers in the league and it’s never usually a boring game when you play Peterborough. What we’ve got to do is try to limit their chances. 

“For a neutral, it’s a mouth-watering game, because of the way we play football and the tempo both teams play at. 

“It’s a great challenge for both myself and Grant to see who will come out on top, but I believe in my players and I think we can go there and get something.” 

Tomorrow will see Saddlers playmaker Erhun Oztumer return to Peterborough for the first time since leaving the club in the summer. 

The diminutive midfielder has made a superb start to his Walsall career - scoring three goals in seven league appearances - but Whitney says he must control his emotions on Saturday. 

“You can see the threat he’s got and why we brought him in,” Whitney added. “Peterborough probably did their best to keep him but he’s our player now. 

“We’ve got to make sure he manages his emotions this weekend. When you go back to an old team, you’ve got to make sure you play your game and treat it as just another match. 

“If he does that, then I’m sure he will be a threat. They will try to stop him but that’s quite difficult at times when he is in the kind of form he’s in now.”

Walsall’s win over Bolton was our first in seven league outings, and Whitney is hoping his side can now build on that result and start climbing the table. 

“If you want to start pushing towards the play-offs, you’ve got to start averaging one and a half, two points per game, which is what we did last year,” added Whitney.

"We’ve lost one in four, which looks better on the stats. In general, to build confidence and momentum within the group, the Bolton win was a really important one for us. 

“There’s a very fine line between teams in this league. You see Sheffield United have put a few wins together and they’re in the top six. If you can get back-to-back wins, you can climb this table.”

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