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Whitney pleased with Saddlers showing in Dale draw

23 December 2017

Jon Whitney was pleased with his team’s performance in today’s 1-1 draw at Rochdale.

Calvin Andrew put Dale ahead after 63 minutes but Maz Kouhyar came off the bench to score a late equaliser – his first league goal – and rescue a hard-earned draw.

“In the first half, I thought the lads executed the game plan brilliantly and we were the better team,” said Whitney, who celebrates his 47th birthday today.

“We contained them and they’re usually a really high energy team. We limited them to very few chances and frustrated them – we didn’t give the crowd anything to get on their feet about.

“We were a bit disappointed we didn’t go in with a lead at half-time.

“We said they were going to get a reaction at half-time but we didn’t allow them to. I felt we got the first punch in again – similar to Scunthorpe.

“Our energy was really good but then we got the sucker-punch with their goal, which I didn’t see coming.

“It was a bit fortuitous but then we had a ten-minute spell where we stopped trying to play.

“When we did have a nice passage of play, we put it out wide to Erhun [Oztumer] one v one and he created that opportunity [for Kouhyar’s goal].

“It was nice to see us have six in the box and it was great for Maz to come on and get his goal – I was made up for him.

“It would have been a harsh result had we not got something from the game. I’m disappointed not to win with the possession we had, but we’ll take a point.”

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