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Changes afoot for Walsall's trip tonight

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Walsall boss Jon Whitney has hinted he could make changes for tonight's crunch clash against promotion rivals Gillingham.

Both teams enter the game knowing a win would see them move up to third in League One and within striking distance of second-placed Burton Albion.

But a defeat would be a major blow to their automatic promotion hopes, with just a handful of games remaining.

Walsall enter the fixture having fallen to back-to-back defeats and with doubts over the fitness of influential duo Tom Bradshaw and James O'Connor.

And Whitney says he is considering freshening things up due to the Saddlers' hectic schedule.

The interim manager said: "We are looking to improve on our last two displays. Whether that means we have to freshen up and rotate – that is something we will consider.

"We knew we might have to make changes because we have got a lot of games in a short amount of time.

"But we have got a squad that allows us to do that and players who allow us to play in different systems.

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"Bradshaw and O'Connor will be assessed, but we won't make rash decisions. Our focus is on winning the game and we will give it our all.

"They have got Bradley Dack back, who is an important player for them, but we will go into all seven of our remaining games looking to win."

Whitney, who believes Walsall are the fittest team in League One, will monitor his players closely during their frantic run-in.

He said: "It's not about managing a team or a squad, it's about managing players individually. Some players will spend more time training than others.

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"My real forte is getting players ready to play – making them fresh. Most teams play at a similar level of fitness – I just think we play fresher than most teams.

"Sometimes the players want to stay out there, but I have to put an arm around them and tell them that's it.

"They have to stay hungry but you have to know when you have hit your targets. The only thing that matters is being ready for game day."

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