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Jon Whitney wounded by Walsall supporter anger

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Boss Jon Whitney admits the criticism he is currently receiving from a section of Walsall’s fans is hurting him.

Jon Whitney

The 46-year-old has seen supporter frustration towards him mount over the past few weeks due to some disappointing results.

And that pressure intensified further following the Saddlers' FA Cup loss at Newport County last weekend.

Walsall responded to that defeat with a 1-0 victory at Shrewsbury on Tuesday – a result that saw them qualify for the second round of the Checkatrade Trophy.

And with his team now not in action for 10 days, Whitney accepts that result has to be built on.

“I can’t say the criticism doesn’t hurt because it does hurt – that is me as a person,” the under-fire boss said.

“I am a family man. I love life and I love the club. But that’s just words.

Walsall debate: Is the Checkatrade Trophy a pressure relief for Jon Whitney?

“I have got to get my team playing like they did against Shrewsbury and get performances to a consistent level.

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“It comes down to winning games. We now have to work hard and push the limits in every game we play.

“It’s up to us to put that into action like we did against Shrewsbury. That has to be a springboard for the next 10 days.”

Whitney revealed he said some strong words to his players after they exited the FA Cup in the first round.

But he feels they have showed character to put it behind them at Shrewsbury.

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“We asked for a response from them,” he continued.

“We questioned the group character. The players did respond, they deserve praise for that but it has to be a regular thing now.

“Individually things were said after Newport – there had to be, livelihoods were at stake.

“We have to play every game like it’s the last game we are going to play and to say that for a Checkatrade Trophy game shows just how important it was.

“But I thought the decision making against Shrewsbury was a lot better.

“I think we can take confidence from that game because it was a really solid performance.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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