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Jon Whitney wants a flying start for Walsall

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Boss Jon Whitney is targeting a flying start to the new season with the boss believing home form will be crucial in Walsall's race towards the Championship.

The Saddlers kick-off their League One campaign tomorrow when AFC Wimbledon visit the Banks's Stadium.

Walsall finished third last year with the best away record in the division, but they would have ended the campaign in 10th place if only home results counted.

Whitney oversaw an up turn in form at the Banks's when he was named interim manager back in March and now the Saddlers boss wants that to continue into the new campaign.

He said: "We want to make the Banks's Stadium a fortress and that starts against Wimbledon tomorrow.

"One of the big things I had to do last season was make sure the home form got better because at times there was an anxiety in our play.

"It improved over the last two months so we want to take that into the new season. Wimbledon will arrive and play at a high tempo.

"But one of the big things we have worked on in training is how we can create chances when teams bank in.

"We have brought players in who can unlock defences. Simeon Jackson is really sharp. Flo Cuvelier has come in. Erhun Oztumer can unpick locks.

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"Then we have Franck Moussa, Josh Ginnelly and Andreas Makris. We have got really good attacking players."

Whitney expects to be able to have both Isaiah Osbourne and record signing Makris in his squad for the visit of the Dons.

After missing the whole of last season with a knee injury, Osbourne was offered a one-year deal to remain with the Saddlers earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Walsall were yesterday waiting for intentional clearance for Makris after he signed from Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta on Monday.

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When asked about Osbourne, he said: "I have offered him a contract and we need to sit down and finalise that.

"I'm, hopeful, he will sign a one-year-contract. I'm hoping he will part of the squad for Wimbledon."

On Makris, the boss added: "We're waiting on clearance but hoping he will available. I have got him as part of my squad.

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