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Record signing Andreas Makris is starting to settle at Walsall

Sport | Published:

Jon Whitney believes Walsall fans are starting to see what record signing Andreas Makris will bring to the team this season.

The 20-year-old Cypriot, signed from Anorthosis Famagusta on a three-year deal this summer, struck the bar during the Saddlers' 2-0 defeat at Chesterfield on Tuesday.

Had that gone in, Whitney's charges may have picked up their second victory of the season, but the boss was happy with the contribution of his international frontman.

Whitney said: "When he gets the ball he is thinking, 'how can I create an opportunity for me or one of my team-mates?'.

"I like him in there, he can play at No.9 or 10. In the three or four weeks he has been here he is starting to get up to pace.

"I was happy with him. I have told him to keep his head up high.

"Generally, we created some good chances."

Makris was making his first start for the club during the match, and Whitney believes when a first goal follows it will give the striker a huge lift.

"It will, he has had a few good chances," said Whitney. "At Oldham he forced the keeper to make a save and on Tuesday he hit the bar.

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"It will come. At least he is getting those opportunities and he is willing to take the shot.

"He is not scared of missing. In the past we have had players who were scared of missing and that is not what we want.

"He was really bright in the first half. I watched his clips before he came in and I have seen him do it for Cyprus."

Meanwhile, Whitney admits the Saddlers are having to manage Isaiah Osbourne's return from injury – with the midfielder unable to play more than one game a week at the moment after missing all of last season with a knee problem.

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"He has been out for nearly a year and gets a little bit of swelling after each game," said Whitney. "I knew for the first six to eight weeks I would have to manage him.

"I would love to put him back in but then I would be putting his career at risk and I have to be responsible.

"You have to sometimes control when he plays and for the first month it is going to be one game a week.

"I have to look after him, he has to gradually progress the knee forward and I think in a month's time he will be ready for two games a week.

"For now, one game a week was always the plan."

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