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Whitney looks ahead to Blackburn test

30 January 2018

Jon Whitney says The Saddlers are looking forward to the test of taking on Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park tonight (7.45pm kick-off).

Tonight’s game is the rearranged fixture between the two sides that was originally scheduled for November 11th before being postponed due to international call-ups.

It is Walsall’s first match in more than a week, following on from the 3-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic, with Rovers sat third in the League One having played 28 games. 

The Saddlers have been working on both sides of their game in training and Whitney says the squad are looking forward to the prospect of taking on Rovers.

“We’re looking forward to it - it’s a real opportunity for our players,” said Whitney. 

“I’m sure Tony (Mowbray) really wants to push them back up into the Championship and where they feel they should be, but we’ll see what happens because we can be a threat. 

“At Charlton we were at times - unfortunately we keep rueing missed chances so we’ve been working hard this week to see if we can improve that.

“They’ve had another game before us so a lot of things can happen. We’ll prepare for their A-game and they’ll prepare for us.

“After the win we got at Oxford, we deserved something from the game at Charlton. We looked back at it and some of our chances were really good and we should have taken one of them. 

“It’s important that we go there and try to reduce the individual errors but if we can just play with the same intensity, it’s one to look forward to.

“We’ve got to take the positives from (Charlton) and work on being a little more resolute in defence.”

Blackburn will have a familiar face in their squad tonight with Paul Downing a regular fixture for Rovers this term, having now signed permanently at Ewood Park from MK Dons.

Downing made 183 appearances in all competitions for The Saddlers over four years at the Banks’s Stadium, leaving in June 2016.

“Paul did well and he’s a really top lad,” said Whitney.

“You just want to wish him well - but not too well tonight!

“He’s got more aggression in his play now. At MK Dons he’s started to really show that and he’s got that side of his game.

“He’s got a really good attitude.”

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