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Walsall confidence crisis worry for Jon Whitney

Sport | Published:

Walsall boss Jon Whitney feels some of his players are suffering from a lack of confidence as they prepare to host high-flying Bradford.

The Saddlers have endured a miserable few days with defeat at Fleetwood followed by a 3-1 home loss to Oldham in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Now Whitney's side have to dust themselves down ahead of the visit of Bradford on Saturday – with Stuart McCall's side currently sat fourth in League One. But Whitney has vowed to pick his players up for that clash and has told them to believe more in their own ability.

"Confidence is an issue," the boss said. "It's not just younger players but the older players as well. Players you trust and who you expect to make the right decisions in games.

"When we go forward, teams are finding it too easy to hit us on the counter-attack.

"I know we have got two young centre-backs (Kevin Toner and Matt Preston) but it's not all down to them. It's the team ethos.

"Confidence is a big thing. At any age your confidence can be affected by criticism. What you have to do is be strong, believe in your own ability and then you will come through."

Whitney says he and coaches Neil Cutler and Ian Sharps will make sure the players are lifted in time for Saturday.

"I will pick them back up – that is what I am good at," the boss continued.

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"If I need to be the catalyst I will do that because it is my job.

"Ian Sharps will be like that. Neil Cutler will be like that.

"We will look and reflect but we know we need to come through this now.

"We know we can't keep conceding goals like we have been conceding.

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"Some players need to step up and eventually I will get a team to start the climb the table.

"I have been in much stickier situations at this club and come through it.

"I understand how to. And I am looking forward to that challenge."

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