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Club News

Whitney: we deserved to win

17 October 2017

Jon Whitney felt the Saddlers deserved to beat MK Dons this evening.

Chuks Aneke’s 24th-minute header put the Dons ahead but the visitors levelled when Tyler Roberts won and converted a penalty.

Roberts, Amadou Bakayoko and substitute Erhun Oztumer all went close late on but Walsall had to settle for a share of the spoils.

“The lads are a bit gutted we haven’t won it,” said Whitney.

“With the chances we created in the second half, I thought we deserved to win it in the end. We dominated them in the second half and pressed them really high.

“The plan was to contain them in the first half. They got a goal from a set-piece but we limited them to very few chances and defended very well.

“We brought Tyler off with cramp. Flo [Cuvelier] completely seized up – he’s only trained twice in the last five weeks – but we knew we had to get players on the pitch who could keep the ball.

“I thought some of our link-up play was fantastic in the second half.”

Whitney made four changes to the Saddlers team that drew 1-1 with Blackpool at the weekend.

Tyler Roberts, Adam Chambers, Cuvelier and Liam Kinsella all came on, with Oztumer, Kory Roberts and Dan Agyei dropping to the bench, while Nicky Devlin was rested.

“We wanted to freshen things up a little bit,” the boss explained. “Some of the players have played a lot of games and it was important we had legs out there as we needed to close down the space.

“We know they’re strong and we went with a midfield three as it was important we went a bit defensive with a 4-5-1.

“We also had that attacking threat with Ama on the left and Tyler can always create opportunities.

“Liam Kinsella had an excellent game at right-back and it was nice to see one of our products, who has been here since the age of seven, have a really strong display.

“He’s been patient so a special mention to him as his character and attitude has been fantastic.”

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