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Whitney hails resilient Saddlers

26 August 2017

Jon Whitney hailed his side’s resilience after the Saddlers fought back from three goals down to draw 3-3 with promotion hopefuls Bradford.

First-half strikes from Shay McCartan and Dominic Poleon, as well a Luke Leahy own goal, looked to have given the Bantams victory.

But Walsall refused to throw in the towel, with headers from Leahy, debutant Tyler Roberts and Amadou Bakayoko completing a stirring fightback.

And while delighted with his players’ spirit, Whitney was also thrilled with the way the home supporters got behind his team.

“That game shows our resilience,” said the 46-year-old.

“Our heads never dropped. You never know when it turns and once you start attacking that end with our fans, it becomes an incredible atmosphere.

“I’ve got to give a special mention to the fans. They were fantastic today.

“And I know you ask, ‘who’s the catalyst?’ I thought we were the catalyst together.

“The appreciation they had at half-time helped my players to keep their heads up high.

“We looked like a team who were 2-0 up when I came in to speak to them. And that’s really important because you can easily feel sorry for yourself.

“We still believed we could go on and win that game. Then we get hit with another sucker-punch but I still thought our reactions were fantastic.

“Three headed goals. Tyler Roberts gets a goal on debut, Amadou gets his rewards for his hard work, Luke Leahy scores again and we are a little bit disappointed we didn’t get one at the end and win it but maybe that’s being a little bit greedy.”


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