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Jon Whitney patient in Walsall defender hunt

Sport | Published:

Boss Jon Whitney is ready to play a waiting game in his bid to bring defensive reinforcements to Walsall.

The manager wants a left-sided defender to complete his rebuild of the Saddlers' squad but is prepared to stay patient to ensure he lands the right man.

With the transfer window due to close at the end of the month, Whitney expects more progress in the next week or so. "We are a bit closer, it's a difficult one because a lot of teams are waiting on targets," he said.

"It is going to be a mad, mad rush towards the end of the window, like it always is.

"Teams are waiting to get targets in and if they get them then they release their players. I have to be a little bit patient and not rush it too much to make sure I get the right one in."

Rico Henry, the club's only recognised left-back, is currently out of contention after suffering a dislocated shoulder in last weekend's 0-0 draw at Oldham, with Joe Edwards again set to deputise in this afternoon's home game with Charlton.

At the age of 19, Henry has already become a key member of the first team and the Saddlers yesterday moved to tie up the next promising left-back coming through the ranks, as Callum Cockerill-Mollett inked his first professional deal. The 17-year-old was an unused substitute during Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Chesterfield.

"I'm really happy about signing my contract," said Cockerill-Mollett.

"It came as a surprise although I had been involved with the first-team a bit in pre-season. I played against Derby and I was captain of the youth team which I was happy about

."

Meanwhile Walsall's trip to Bristol Rovers, which was scheduled for Saturday, September 3, has been postponed due to international call-ups. Canada's Simeon Jackson, Cyprus' Andreas Makris and Philippines keeper Neil Etheridge have all been selected.

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