Jon Whitney: Defeat will make Walsall stronger

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Boss Jon Whitney insists Walsall will learn from their defeat against promotion rivals Sheffield United and come back a stronger side.

The Saddlers fell to only their second away defeat in League One this season after Nigel Adkins' Blades ran out 2-0 winners on Saturday.

That result meant Whitney tasted defeat for the first time as a manager with the 45-year-old having previously won four and drawn two of his six games in charge.

But while the boss was disappointed with his sides display in Yorkshire, he is confident fans will see an improved performance when they return to action at Oldham.

"Of course we were disappointed with the Sheffield United result," Whitney said.

"But we will reflect on it and it will make us stronger.

"Character is built from adversity and that result was a little bit of adversity. What we have got to do now is push on to make sure we stay in contention for a place in the top two.

"We are still upbeat. You can't win every game even though we try to win every game.

"Now we have to make ourselves hard to beat and go get those three points at Oldham."


Whitney believes it's up to each member of Walsall's squad to understand what wrong at Bramall Lane and then ensure the mistakes are not repeated.

"I wish Oldham was a Tuesday game because we want to get back out there," he said.

"But with it being on Saturday it gives us a bit more time on the training pitch.

"I said to the players we need to look at the result and come back into training and be dynamic.

"We don't want people to be quiet. We want to hear their opinions so we can learn together as a group."

Whitney also explained why he handed midfielder Reece Flanagan a first start since October in the defeat against the Blades. "Reece has been one of the best trainers over the last month and I have always said I will pick players if they do well in training," he added.

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