Jon Whitney vows to keep battling at Walsall
Bullish Walsall boss Jon Whitney is determined to prove his doubters wrong as they travel to high-flying Shrewsbury Town tomorrow.
Whitney has now been at the Saddlers helm for more than two years, although some supporters have long wanted him gone.
Chants of ‘We want Whitney out’ came following a 3-0 loss to lowly Rochdale on Tuesday, but the 47-year-old has vowed to keep fighting.
“I don’t like saying I’ve been through hard times because when you see what’s going on around the world and what some people have to do deal with, this is nothing in comparison to that,” said Whitney on his road to management.
“But I’ve been in some real crappy jobs – grave digging, plastics recycling, packing shelves in Asda and Superdrug. Some real low moments.
“Because I’ve got so much drive, I’ve got to where I am now through hard work and determination.
“Also, I keep developing my skill set. I’m close to finishing my (UEFA) A Licence now. I’ve done that and my B Licence in two years.
“I’m a first-time manager, over two years now – very proud of that.
“I understand I’ve come in for a lot of criticism but, I tell you what, I came into this expecting criticism.
“I’m still here fighting and one thing I will say is that I’ll always fight. I’ll always try to prove people wrong and that’s exactly what I’ll keep doing.”
Walsall are 13th in League One with games of the season left.
“People are entitled to opinions – that is what life is about, football especially,” said Whitney.
“There’s lots of opinion, and there always will be. I’m glad there’s emotion. I enjoy it.
“Did I enjoy getting beat 3-0? Of course not, but we’ve got a good, honest group of players.
“We’ve got Shrewsbury now, 10 games left – we can still finish strong.”
Whitney was keen to praise Shrewsbury counterpart Paul Hurst for getting his side to second in the league – and to the Checkatrade Trophy final.
He added: “Getting the team to Wembley is a tremendous achievement, and keeping them in the top three – very similar to ourselves a few years back.
“Hopefully we can put a spanner in a works. We’ll be friends, but rivals for the day.
“We’ll have a drink after it I’m sure.”