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Whitney: We're Gaining Confidence and Building Momentum

25 August 2017

Jon Whitney says his side are growing in confidence and building momentum after recent results.

Since losing 1-0 to Bury on the opening day, the Saddlers have come from behind to beat Oldham 2-1 and drawn 1-1 with a much-fancied Portsmouth team.

And Whitney believes the last two results – and performances – have given his side a boost heading into tomorrow’s League One match with promotion hopefuls Bradford.

“Winning games and getting points builds momentum,” said Whitney. “Confidence grows, you get more experience from some of the younger players.

“You’ve got another 90 minutes of players playing at wing-back, like Luke [Leahy], who’s got his goal now and understands the wing-back role really well.

“Nicky Devlin is looking more settled in that position, and Shaun Donnellan has slotted in well.

“Adam [Chambers] does what Adam does. Joe [Edwards] and Kieron [Morris] have got really good energy. Ama [Bakayoko] is occupying opposition centre halves really well. We know what [Erhun] Oztumer can do and his work ethic is really good.

“The key ingredient for me is the energy and the work ethic. You can’t contain a team like Portsmouth unless you work damn hard and that’s got to come first and foremost.

“We’ve got to take that momentum from the last two games into Bradford.

“The second-half performance against Oldham, and that performance at Portsmouth, we need to see if we can carry on that consistency into the weekend.”

Stuart McCall’s Bradford have won two and lost one of their opening three games – and Whitney is expecting a stern test.

“They’ve got an abundance of strikers and a lot of experience,” Whitney commented.

“They sit on six points and are one of the favourites on the back of the disappointment in the play-offs last year.

“I’m sure they’ll put up a really stern test for us, but we’ll put up a stern test for them as well.

“For us, it’s an opportunity to cement the last two performances and go and make sure we test them.”


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