Jon Whitney believes Liam Kinsella’s contract extension is just reward for his attitude and hard work.
Right-back Kinsella signed a new deal yesterday that will keep him at the Banks’s Stadium until at least the summer of 2019.
The 21-year-old has featured regularly for the Saddlers this season, making 17 appearances in all competitions.
“I’m really pleased to have Kins on board and it’s well deserved,” said Whitney.
“The way Liam came back in pre-season, the patience he’s showed, his attitude towards training – it’s a credit to him.
“It doesn’t matter about his age – he’s a really good role model for our young players to see that with patience and hard work you can get yourself in the first-team squad.
“He is always going to be in the squad because his attitude is second to none – and that overrides ability.
“All the credit goes to Liam for his mindset. When disappointed, he keeps doing the right things and does the best he can – and when you do that you’ll get your rewards.”
Kinsella will be hoping to retain his starting place when the Saddlers visit Charlton this weekend.
Karl Robinson’s Addicks occupy the final play-off position and have won their last two games.
But Whitney says his side, who recorded a much-needed 2-1 win over Oxford last time out, are relishing the challenge.
“It’s one of those fixtures you always look forward to as it’s a good place to visit,” said the boss.
“They’ve lost Ricky Holmes to Sheffield United who will be a big loss, but Karl has got a strong group of players to pick from.
“They’ve brought in Stephy Mavididi from Arsenal and they’ve got Mark Marshall, who is ex-Bradford, and Josh Magennis, who is a handful up top.
“They’ve got an array of options and are a good, strong team. But we’re looking forward to going down there and seeing if we can cause an upset.”