Whitney pleased with Walsall formation change

Walsall boss Jon Whitney says he is delighted with the way his side has adapted to a change in formation.

Jon Whitney
Jon Whitney

After kicking off the season playing a 4-4-2 system, the Saddlers have switched to 3-5-2 in recent weeks.

That change helped pave the way for a home victory over Oldham before Whitney’s men then battled to earn a point at Portsmouth.

And the boss hopes the formation change has shown fans the potential that exists in his new look side.

“As a team we have to make sure we have an attacking threat but we don’t want to leave ourselves open,” Whitney said.

“Tactically, I think the players really understand three at the back now.

“We are okay with a 4-4-2 and we have that nailed down. But they enjoy the three (3-5-2) as well.

“For me, it’s about distance and the press – and trying to keep some energy in the tank so we can do it for 90 minutes.

“But I think this group can do that. We finished really strong at Portsmouth and nearly won it – if we had I would have done a David Pleat down the touchline.

“Overall though I was pleased for the lads.

“They’ll hopefully get a bit of credit for how they are performing and battling for the team, and for the shirt.”

Whitney believes the 3-5-2 system suits the personnel in his squad.

And the boss said he is particularly pleased with how centre-halves Jon Guthrie, James Wilson and Shaun Donnellan have taken to their new roles – as well as midfielder Joe Edwards.

“It’s a system that allows us to get Edwards more central and we can use his energy because Adam Chambers is always going to be that screen,” Whitney added.

“He is our Mr Versatile but he is seven or eight our of 10 every week wherever he plays.

“It’s also good for the two outside centre-halves because they comfortable stepping out with it – Guthrie and Wilo (Wilson) have done really well.

“And Shaun has done really well too. It’s very pleasing for us as staff.”

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