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WHITNEY: WE CAN'T GET COMPLACENT

28 February 2017

Saddlers host struggling Chesterfield tonight...

Jon Whitney has warned his side against complacency ahead of tonight’s game against relegation-threatened Chesterfield.

The struggling Spireites are without a win in seven games, and lie 23rd in the League One table. 

But Whitney knows Gary Caldwell’s men are scrapping for survival - and is expecting a reaction from them following their 4-0 home defeat by Oxford on Saturday. 

The 46-year-old said: “The least we have to do is match their commitment, match their desire. 

“I’ve been in this position both as a player and a staff member, and they’re going to be a wounded animal after that 4-0 defeat. 

“They will turn results around and pick up points so we can’t have any complacency from my staff or players. 

“If we can match their energy, passion and commitment, then we can play our football.” 

The Saddlers will be looking to bounce back from the narrow 1-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and continue their fine recent home run. 

“We knew it would be scrappy,” said Whitney. “We planned for that, we knew it was going to be an ugly game.

“In the first half I thought we dealt with it really well. It was a bit scrappy but we created a few chances which is key. 

“And I didn’t see the goal coming. It was a bit like a smash a grab from the home team and then the game changes and you have to go and chase it. 

“It was the only time in the game we didn’t deal with that first ball and we have been punished for it.” 

Chesterfield are yet to win a game since Caldwell took over as manager last month – the Scot drawing three and losing four of his seven games in charge. 

But, although Caldwell is only 34, Whitney points to his managerial experience in League One, which includes winning the 2015/16 league title. 

“I’m expecting a really tough game," he added. "Gary’s gone in there now, he got promoted with Wigan from this league last year and he knows the league very well. 

“He lost some key players in the window which hasn’t helped him and they’re fighting for their lives. 

“I think these two games will be our toughest games of the season because of the position we’re in and the position they’re in, and all the things that come into the mix with expectancy. 

“It’s a very tough league – everybody beats everybody.”

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