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Whitney: Saddlers relishing 'mouth-watering' Shrews test

6 October 2017

Jon Whitney says his Saddlers side are relishing the challenge of trying to become the first team to beat Shrewsbury this season.

Paul Hurst’s Shrews are the surprise League One pace-setters, having won nine and drawn two of their opening 11 matches.

Whitney believes Town fully deserve their place at the third-tier summit.

But with the Saddlers still unbeaten at home, the 46-year-old is confident we can cause them problems.

“There’s a bit of excitement about the place because we’re playing the team who are top of the table, and deservedly so,” said the boss.

“But it’s an opportunity for us to be the first team to beat them and that is a real incentive for us.

“Lots of teams have tried [to beat them] but you don’t go 11 unbeaten and be where they are unless you’ve got something of substance.

“We’re unbeaten at home and we’ll be looking to test their resolve. It’s a mouth-watering tie for the neutral and both sets of fans.”

Town boss Hurst was named September’s League One Manager of the Month this morning – and Whitney has paid tribute to the former Rotherham left-back.

“Paul has done a great job and deserves a lot of credit,” he added.

“For someone of a young age, he’s vastly experienced. He’s gone through the leagues and been successful at all his clubs, whether it’s in non-league or in the league with Grimsby.

“He’s honest and upfront, very resilient and hard-working, and he’s got that in his players so we’re expecting a tough game.”

Whitney confirmed that goalkeeper Mark Gillespie will be available having recovered from slight concussion sustained in last week’s defeat at Wigan.


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