Jon Whitney: Walsall must improve discipline
Jon Whitney admits Walsall must improve their discipline as they prepare to take on Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup.
The Saddlers head to Bramall Lane tomorrow night for a first-round tie against the Blades, with Whitney determined to focus on the positives after Saturday’s season-opening 1-0 defeat at Bury.
But the boss conceded his team must show greater focus to avoid playing their way into trouble.
Walsall conceded two penalties at Bramall Lane, the first saved by keeper Mark Gillespie and the second missed by Chris Maguire, while the Shakers goal came from a set piece conceded on the stroke of half-time.
“We will just look at areas where we can improve. We should have kept the ball a bit better at Bury and we gave away too many free-kicks,” said Whitney. “Discipline let us down a little bit and we fell into their hands and made it too scrappy.
“We can’t keep giving two penalties away, we planted a foot a couple of times. Last year we got done by free-kicks and dead-balls and we need to be better at that, a bit more disciplined to stop that happening.”
The Blades, last year’s League One champions, began life back in the Championship on a positive note with a 1-0 win over Brentford.
Yet Whitney and his players, while underdogs, will travel to Yorkshire with optimism having beaten the hosts on their own patch in both the league and Checkatrade Trophy last term.
Goalscoring remains the biggest concern with Whitney still hunting a striker signing, though the manager believes it is the responsibility of every player to help the current forwards out.
“The supply line can come from all over the pitch,” he said. “Full-backs need to get on more as well and provide crosses.
“But we were away at Bury. They’ve spent four, five times anything that we’ve got close to