Jon Whitney wants to keep loan stars at Walsall

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Walsall boss Jon Whitney has confirmed he would like to keep some of his current loan stars.

The Saddlers end their League One season at home to MK Dons on Sunday with Jason McCarthy, Eoghan O'Connell, George Dobson and Scott Laird then set to return to their parent clubs.

But Whitney says he is hopeful some of those players will be back the Banks's Stadium next season.

"We will talk about my budget after MK Dons," Whitney said.

"When you look back to last summer, I haven't got the massive rebuild I had.

"But I still need to add players. I'd like to keep some of the loan players but it's not entirely up to me.

"George is still contracted to West Ham. Jason's contract is up at Southampton. Eoghan is still a Celtic player. Lairdy is still at Scunthorpe.

"Even though I really want to push things, I can't yet. Things will materialise, unravel and develop over the next four to six weeks.

"I would like to keep some of them. But I will make that clear after MK Dons, and and maybe discuss why others aren't in my plans.


"They have to be a piece of the jigsaw and the plan we have for next year.

"We have to be better away from home for example. We have to be more robust and resilient.

"There are areas where we want to keep our flair but there are areas we need to have more resilience."

Whitney has O'Connell back from suspension for the visit of Robbie Neilson's side on Saturday.


And the boss also hopes Erhun Oztumer will be fit enough to start with the Saddlers top scorer having struggled with an ankle knock over the past few weeks.

"Eoghan is back and I'm hoping Erhun is back as well," Whitney continued.

"I am going to play a strong team. I have to look at things for next year but I also have to try and win the game and reward some of the players that have really helped me this year.

"I want to get them on the pitch for the fans to see them. It's about me rewarding players."

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