Jason McCarthy: Walsall lucky to have Jon Whitney
Jason McCarthy has come out in full support of boss Jon Whitney – with the defender saying Walsall are in "great hands" with him in charge.
A disappointing end to the season – that saw the Saddlers win just one of their last 10 games – has seen Whitney come under pressure from some sections of the fan base.
McCarthy enjoyed an outstanding campaign at the Banks's Stadium having joined on loan from Southampton last summer.
With his contract at the Premier League side now set to expire, the talented defender is weighing up his options for next season.
But whether he returns to Walsall or not, he believes the club is in for a successful season.
"Walsall will be higher next season," he said.
"Believe me, they will be pushing. The club is in great hands with the manger.
"When you think of the players they left last year, it was a big rebuilding job. We've now come through the first year of that.
"1000 per cent he is the right man for the job. All the players are with him. The staff are with him.
"It was not nice when we heard some chants against him when we played MK Dons.
"You understand fans’ frustrations but we, as players, take the blame as well.
"It’s not just one man and he is 1000 per cent the right man to take the club forward. Walsall are lucky to have him."
Looking back over the season, McCarthy feels the 3-2 defeat at Southend on March 18 proved the catalyst for Walsall's disappointing end to the campaign.
The Saddlers went to Roots Hall with ambitions to get into play-offs but lost the game despite leading 2-0 at half-time.
"I think it's fair to say that was a defining result," McCarthy added.
"I think if we had held on to that two-nil lead and seen that out then it would have been different.
"But they are the fine margins and I think that is probably where our experience told.
"We know we should have been better at seeing games out this year. It’s not just Southend – there have been others as well.
"That was probably the defining result and the last 10 games were disappointing. It wasn't through a lack of effort though. All the boys were trying."