Jon Whitney vows to win over Walsall critics
Jon Whitney says he is immensely proud to be Walsall’s manager – with the boss also confident he can win over his doubters and get his team back to winning ways.
The 46-year-old has come in for criticism from supporters in recent weeks and had to endure calls for him to be moved on during the draws against Blackpool and MK Dons.
While Walsall have won just once in their last seven games, they have also only lost once in that period. And Whitney believes his side is very close to turning a run of draws into a run of wins.
“I am immensely proud to be the manager of this football club,” he said.
“It has been incredible. I have been in charge almost two years now and I’m incredibly determined to be successful as a manager. My physio tag will always be there.
“But I see myself as a coach now and I’m really confident I can take this club forward.
“I have been here nearly 14 years. I understand the club, I understand what we are.
“The fans I understand. They pay their money and are entitled to their opinions.
“But it’s a fine line between turning some of these draws into wins. And suddenly then momentum can start.
“I take all their views on board. We all want to win more games, of course we do. But we are confident we will do that.”
Whitney, who turned out for the likes of Hull and Wigan in his playing career, says he can cope with the pressure currently on his shoulders.
“I have always been a grafter in life,” he continued.
“I’ll be honest every day and I’ll keep a positive environment for my players.
I can’t get sidetracked by some of the comments. I have still got to try and win games so I have to keep a logical, clear mind.
“I have come under criticism all through my career. On my debut for Hull I scored an own-goal and got booed off by 12,000 people.
“But the next game I got man of the match. I am used to adversity and criticism.
“But I usually come around because I am open and honest and I try to improve every single day.”