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WHITNEY: END THE SEASON ON A HIGH

21 April 2017

Boss targeting top-half finish...

Jon Whitney wants his side to end the season as strongly as possible, insisting a top-half finish is a realistic target. 

The Saddlers sit 13th in League One with 58 points from 43 matches, having ended a six-match winless run with a late 1-0 victory over struggling Swindon last time out. 

Walsall face already-relegated basement club Coventry at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow – and Whitney is hoping we can build on the last result.

“Realistically, we’re trying to push MK Dons, Peterborough and Oxford possibly,” said the 46-year-old. 

“We’ve got targets and we want to finish as high as we can – possibly tenth, which is still realistic if we win our game in hand. 

“We’re looking to stay unbeaten until the end of the season – and I think we can do that. 

“We were much better in the last game. We kept it much better, controlled it for long periods and were much better than we were in the Shrewsbury game. 

“That’s the team we are – we have to retain the ball or else we become a very ordinary team. 

“The players took on board some criticism and we won the game from it, so hopefully we can take that into Coventry at the weekend.” 

Mark Robins’ Coventry had their relegation to League Two confirmed after a 1-1 draw with Charlton on Good Friday. 

With murmurs of fan protests at tomorrow’s match – the Sky Blues’ last at home in League One – Whitney says his team must be prepared for any possible disruptions. 

“I think it’s going to be very stop-start,” Whitney added. “I am expecting them to use this to make a big statement and there might be a few pigs thrown on. 

“But we’re expecting that and we’ll even have some stop-starts in our training. It’ll be about the team who manages that well and then gets back into momentum really quick. 

“It’s difficult for Mark but they’re unbeaten in their last five at home and have actually been in good form recently. 

“They’re still looking to play for contracts and they’ve got a lot of young players who are going to play for a place next year. 

“I’m sure Mark will be going along the lines of building momentum for next year, and he’ll be demanding that they finish as strong as they can.” 

Belgian midfielder Flo Cuvelier is a doubt, while goalkeeper Neil Etheridge remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

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