Jon Whitney: Show me pride in the Walsall shirt

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Boss Jon Whitney insists he will only sign players who are proud to wear the Walsall shirt.

It is understood the Saddlers are closing in on a number of new additions as they look to rebuild the squad following a string of high profile exits.

Romaine Sawyers, Jason Demetriou, Paul Downing and Milan Lalkovic have all told the club they will be moving on – while there are also doubts over the futures of Sam Mantom, Anthony Forde, Jordan Cook and Andy Taylor.

Whitney has already snapped up midfielders Erhun Oztumer and Florent Cuvelier this summer as well as youngster Milan Butterfield.

And the manager believes the mentality of the players Walsall sign is just as important as ability.

"When we look to sign a player we will do a risk assessment," Whitney said. "We do it on a one, two or three-tick system. I put the psycho-social aspect as the most important. Then it's the physical, technical and tactical. We can develop the three but the hardest one is the psychology.

"I want people who are consistent with a good emotional baseline.

"I can start putting that into the mix now. I will put things around the place, buzz messages, which drill home what it is like to be a Walsall footballer and not just that, an elite athlete. I need people who are going to take real pride in that."

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