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Club News


7 March 2017

Saddlers host Chesterfield tonight...

Jon Whitney is prepared for a tough test against a revitalised Chesterfield side tonight. 

The rearranged fixture comes after the Spireites’ first win under new boss Gary Caldwell at the weekend - 1-0 at fellow strugglers Swindon. 

The Derbyshire club remain in 23rd place, eight points from safety, and the Saddlers manager knows they will be scrapping for their League One status. 

Whitney said: “I’m expecting a tough game from Gary’s team. They’re off the back of a confidence boosting late win against relegation rivals Swindon, so they’ll be taking that forward. 

“I thought they played really well. I know it will be a true, true test for my players but one which myself, my players and staff are looking forward to.” 

The Saddlers come into the game on the back of five consecutive home wins, following the 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Oldham on Saturday. 

Whitney’s men will be aiming to extend the Banks’s Stadium winning streak to six this evening, a feat not achieved by a Walsall side in the league since the 2000/01 promotion season. 

The 46-year-old commented: “We take each game as it comes but we have to have targets and objectives. 

“The objectives (against Chesterfield) are the possibility of going eighth, the possibility of breaking the 50-point barrier and winning six games on the bounce at home. 

“It’s still nice to have something to play for so we’re really doing everything we can. 

“As long as we’re in every game, that’s what we want. It’s important we just keep the consistency and I think we’re doing that."

The victory at the weekend required a lot of patience, with the goals from Erhun Oztumer and Amadou Bakayoko not arriving until late on. 

And despite beating Oldham, Whitney thinks this Saturday-Tuesday double-header could be the biggest test for his side so far. 

He added: “I’ve always said these will probably be the two toughest games of the season, bearing in mind what everybody is playing for. 

“We’re starting to mature as a team now and you can see we just keep believing in what we do. 

“We know we can keep the ball and we know we can create chances.

“We’ll see if we can hit the ground running again as we finished the game on Saturday.”

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