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Whitney reacts to Plymouth Argyle defeat and confirms Donnellan departure

1 January 2018

Jon Whitney felt his Saddlers side were punished for not taking their chances as 2018 opened with a 1-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle.

The Saddlers were undone by a neat finish from Ryan Taylor from the edge of the box after 68 minutes, that strike proving the difference at the final whistle.

Winger Zeli Ismail had a number of chances through the game from the right wing, as did returning striker Amadou Bakayoko while goalkeeper Remi Matthews’ palms were stung by a long-range drive from Erhun Oztumer.

And while manager Whitney felt the performance was good, his side were punished for not capitalising when they had opportunities on goal.

“I thought it was a good away performance but we got punished for not taking chances,” said Whitney. 

“I thought we were really dominant in the first half, we contained them really well and we were a threat on the counter. But when you don’t take your chances it’s always likely that they’ll get at least one chance at home (and) Taylor took it really well. 

“I thought we had the threat on transition - Zeli was causing them problems all afternoon and it was only a matter of time before we capitalised on it. 

“Again it puts us in the position where we have to regroup now and be ready for the challenge.

“I’m disappointed for the lads because I thought they deserved something from the game.

“We had to keep the ball today. We didn’t want to come away from home and camp in, that’s not what we’re about. I think our strength is in keeping possession and I thought we did it really well at times.”

Whitney also confirmed that on-loan West Bromwich Albion defender Shaun Donnellan will not be extending his stay with the club as his loan deal expires this week.

“We’ve let Shaun Donnellan go back,” said Whitney. 

“He wants to play games and I can’t guarantee him minutes, so he’s gone back. 

“Kory has done really well and he’s really pushing James Wilson for that position, which is really healthy for me. We’ll sit down and have a chat about Dan Agyei and Zeli Ismail.”

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