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Whitney: Ismail back in training ahead of MK Dons trip tonight

17 October 2017

Jon Whitney is aware of the dangers MK Dons may pose to his side tonight, but is backing his side and hopes to welcome winger Zeli Ismail back into the first-team squad.

The Saddlers visit Stadium MK (7.45pm kick-off) off the back of a 1-1 draw against Blackpool at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday.

Robbie Neilson’s side currently sit 14th in the table, having won five of their opening 13 Sky Bet League One games this season.

Manager Whitney is confident that his side can cause problems for the Dons tonight away from the Banks’s, even if he anticipates a reaction from the hosts following their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Portsmouth last weekend.

“We know MK Dons have got pace in wide positions and key men all across the pitch, and we’ve got to respect them,” said Whitney.

“They’ll be hurting a little bit after the Portsmouth defeat and they’ll be looking for a reaction. 

“We have got to be ready for an MK Dons team on the top of their game - but we’re going there confident that we can cause them problems.

“We’ll look to remain solid but we won’t be going there to park the bus or anything like that.

“We’ve got a couple of really tough away games, but we’ve competed in the majority of games we’ve played this season. 

“We’ve got to take our performance levels on now. We have drawn a lot of games so far and it’s a fine line obviously.”

Whitney took the first team for training yesterday and Ismail, who missed the Blackpool draw through illness, was among those taking part ahead of tonight’s game.

Captain Adam Chambers is also pushing for a return to first-team action having made the bench against Blackpool.

 “There’s nothing new in terms of injuries (from the Blackpool game) and no new concerns,” Whitney added. 

“Everyone has trained yesterday so everyone is looking good. 

“Zeli Ismail was ill for the MK Dons game but he trained on Monday along with the rest, so he’s back in the mix. 

“Adam Chambers has come through more training really well, so he looks good.”


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