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Whitney provides fitness update ahead of Rotherham test

Boss hopeful on Dan Agyei and Liam Roberts

29 December 2017

Jon Whitney is hopeful that striker Dan Agyei and goalkeeper Liam Roberts will both be available for tomorrow’s League One match with Rotherham.

Agyei started the Saddlers’ goalless Boxing Day draw with Bristol Rovers but had to be withdrawn on 63 minutes after jarring his back.

Liam Roberts has missed the last four games through a calf injury but Whitney says he could return to the squad.

The match will come too soon for forward Tyler Roberts and midfielder Flo Cuvelier, while frontman Amadou Bakayoko will serve the last game of his three-match suspension.

“Dan is fine – he stiffened up after jarring his back but I’m expecting him to be fit for the weekend,” said the boss.

“Liam Roberts is training. We will have a look at today and hopefully he can come back into the mix.

“Tyler still needs a week’s training so we’re looking at Oxford for him and Flo.”

Paul Warne’s eighth-placed Millers will provide the opposition for our final match of 2017.

United are unbeaten in their last four games and Whitney is expecting a stern test.

“I watched their game at Bury and they were by far the better team,” Whitney added.

“They were one of the pre-season favourites and they’re expecting to get into the play-offs at least.

“They went on a bad run but have strung a little run of results together now and suddenly they’re touching the play-offs.

“Jerry Yates and David Ball up top are a real threat. Anthony Forde is doing really well and we know the quality he’s got.

“They’ve got strength in depth and they seem to have clicked a little bit in their last few games.

“It’ll be a test for us but I’m confident we can provide a stern test for them as well.”

Two days after hosting Rotherham, the Saddlers will take on Plymouth at Home Park on New Year’s Day.

And Whitney says discipline is key over this busy period.

“You need to get your mindset right, think about your recovery, your sleep patterns, your nutrition – all stuff that comes under the discipline umbrella,” he said.

“We need to be really disciplined over the coming week, with two games in three days.

“It’ll be difficult but it’s doable – and everyone is in the same boat.

“Some teams have bigger squads than us, but if the players do it right, then we’ll be competitive in those matches.”

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