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WHITNEY: OSBOURNE IS A ‘CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYER’

25 January 2017

Boss delighted with the midfielder's recent display...

Jon Whitney has heaped praise on midfield powerhouse Isaiah Osbourne, describing him as a “Championship player”. 

The 29-year-old missed the whole of last season through a career-threatening knee injury but has started six of our last seven matches, impressing with his all-action, box-to-box performances. 

“He’s been incredible,” said Whitney. “I’ve known Ozzy from when he came in, through the injuries. 

“I was in the hospital with him when he was nearly unconscious with massive swelling on his knee, and you could see his career being threatened by it. 

“We’ve been through thick and thin, and we stuck with him in the summer. 

“Ozzy is a Championship player for me, and he believes that as well. He’s got some great energy and covers the ground with his strides. Technically, he’s so calm on the ball. 

“He’s not just there as someone who can break it up, he can keep the ball as well. He links up with Flo [Cuvelier] and lets Adam [Chambers] do his job of just breaking things up. 

“The key is keeping him fit, but hopefully we can do that and push forward.” 

Osbourne once again caught the eye with a dominant midfield display in the Saddlers’ 3-1 victory over Bristol Rovers last time out. 

Simeon Jackson also made an important impact in that game, coming off the bench to make it 2-0 with an exquisite lob over Rovers keeper Joe Lumley.

The goal was Canada international Jackson’s first since mid-October, and Whitney was pleased to see the former Norwich striker back among the goals. 

“I’m made up for the kid,” said Whitney. “He’s put a shift in every time I’ve picked him and I’m glad he got his goal. 

“I thought it was going over at first, but it dropped in and it was a great finish. Hopefully he can kick on now that he’s got that monkey off his back.”

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