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Whitney: End the season with a bang

28 April 2017

Saddlers finish the campaign at home to MK Dons...

Jon Whitney wants his side to end the season with a “bang” and secure a top-half finish by beating MK Dons. 

The Saddlers are 13th in League One with 58 points, behind Robbie Neilson’s 12th-placed Dons only on goal difference. 

And after losing 1-0 to relegation-threatened Port Vale on Tuesday night, Whitney is hoping his side can respond with a positive result on the season’s final day. 

“Whoever wins finishes 12th so that’s our target for the players – we’d like a top-half finish,” said Whitney. 

“The other night wasn’t through a lack of effort, and we got done late on by a really good goal. We’ll still do all we can on Sunday and one for me to look at things and experiment. 

“We need to look at a few and see if they can do it in consecutive games because that might change my options moving forward. 

“It’s always great to play in your last home game, there’s always a really good atmosphere and we’ll be looking to go out with a bang.” 

With the season drawing to a close, Whitney feels his team have made good progress over the last year. 

“I am more than reasonably happy [with the season],” the 46-year-old added. 

“We were at base camp when we started but we have definitely moved up from that and are ready to step up to the next level – and for me that is progress. 

“When you think of some of the games - beating Bolton with ten men and Sheffield United three times - you can see what we can achieve when everything clicks. 

“We have to develop players and Tuesday was part of that process. I have to develop this team and nurture these players, but that takes time and patience. 

“This club will go places. It’s a special group and I’m really proud of what I have done and really excited about the future.” 

Eoghan O’Connell is available after missing the Vale defeat through suspension while Whitney is hopeful that Erhun Oztumer will be back fit.

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