Walsall hope for return of key duo James O'Connor and Isaiah Osbourne

Sport | Published:

Walsall boss Jon Whitney will assess the fitness of James O'Connor and Isaiah Osbourne ahead of the visit of League One leaders Bolton tomorrow.

The duo have been out of action for more than a month after picking up hamstring and thigh injuries respectively but returned to full training yesterday.

Whitney's young side have so far endured a frustrating start to the campaign with the team brilliant in spells but disjointed at other times. And the boss admits the return of O'Connor and Osbourne would be a timely boost as they prepare to face a Bolton side who are yet to lose in the league.

"Both Jim and Ozzy (Osbourne) trained yesterday which is good news," Whitney said. "But they have been out for a month so I have to use my sports science head and determine when they are ready to come back into the squad.

"That is what I will doing now but I do think we need a bit more experience. Of course I want to blood youngsters but there are times you need more experience on the pitch. I think this is a time for that now."

Another player in contention is record signing Andreas Makris who was forced to come off in Tuesday's draw at Bristol Rovers with a virus.

"Andreas has told me he is better but players always say that when it's getting closer to the weekend," Whitney continued. We've got to see what he is like on the training ground. He seems okay, he was just struggling a little bit on Tuesday night."

Meanwhile, Whitney says he knows exactly what to expect from Phil Parkinson's Trotters – the bookies' favourites to win promotion.

"The way Phil sets up his team means it's going to be difficult," he added.

"They have started well. But if we play like we did against Bristol Rovers in the first half and correct a few things we will be a real test for them.

"We need to keep believing in our system and with that belief we will become more consistent for longer periods of the game


Top Stories


More from the Express & Star


UK & International News