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Jon Whitney explains Plymouth match decision

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Jon Whitney says his desire to maintain Walsall's positive momentum is the reason why he opted against postponing the Saddlers clash with Plymouth.

Jon Whitney

The Pilgrims make the long trip up to the Banks's Stadium on Saturday despite Whitney having the option to call off the game due to international call-ups.

Walsall have seen a number of their first-team stars selected by their national teams.

New recruit Tyler Roberts has been named in the Wales under-21 squad for their games against Switzerland and Portugal.

Shaun Donnellan and Liam Kinsella have been named in the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad for their clash with Azerbaijan.

Callum Cockerill-Mollett has been selected in a Republic of Ireland under-19 squad.

Meanwhile, Maz Kouyhjar is part of the Afghanistan sqaud that faces Oman tomorrow.

And while disappointed not to have them available, Whitney is keen to play on Saturday following impressive performance against Oldham, Portsmouth and Bradford.

"I want it on – I want momentum," Whitney said.

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"We will be missing a few players but that is what the squad is for.

"It’s an opportunity for someone else to take their chance.

"I want the game on. We've got a lot of young players with incredible talent and it's a great experience for them to go away with their national sides.

"But last year I felt, some of the times we had the international breaks, – it stopped our rhythm.

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"We have built some momentum over the last three games. Confidence is high. There is a positivity around the place. I think we can go forward with this momentum. We want to take that into Plymouth and hopefully get some more points."

One player Whitney will have available for the game against Derek Adams's side is striker Simeon Jackson who missed the draw against Bradford with an groin injury.

"Simeon picked up a slight groin injury in training last Wednesday," Whitney continued.

"He was injured for Bradford but he should be fine for Plymouth."

Meanwhile, Whitney admitted he has been delighted with the performances of striker Amadou Bakayoko in the games against Portsmouth and Bradford.

"That’s two games consecutively now he’s done really well," the boss added.

"The secret is that he is starting to understand what he can be now.

"He is starting to realise he is a good footballer. He’s over six-foot, he’s quick, aggressive, he has a great left foot. He can link play and he can occupy defenders.

"And when he’s not in the game and things aren’t going great for him he’s realised all he has to do is work hard."

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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