Jon Whitney: Walsall input can create 'successful pie' at League One club

Jon Whitney
Walsall are fourth in League One following a run of six goals without a win

Jon Whitney says the input of staff and players at League One side Walsall can help to create a "successful pie".

Whitney has taken control of the first team after Sean O'Driscoll was sacked as head coach on Sunday.

"I add my little piece, my ingredients. Neil Cutler adds a little bit, John Ward, some of the players, the skipper, some of the younger lads add theirs.

"If overall that becomes quite a nice-tasting pie, then that pie could be quite successful," he told BBC WM.

Walsall are fourth in the table, five points behind second-placed Wigan and with a game in hand on all of their promotion rivals.

A familiar face at Bescot

Whitney will be assisted by goalkeeping coach Cutler and professional development coach Ward.

Previously the club's physio, Whitney was briefly appointed caretaker of the first team when Dean Smith left the club to join Brentford in November.

Following the arrival of O'Driscoll, Whitney became assistant head coach and he believes he is experienced enough to guide the Saddlers in his new role.

"I've had a big input over the years with decisions that have been made," he added. "I look at things from a different perspective to some coaches but what I bring to the table can be a great benefit.

"I count myself as so lucky but I've earned my luck over the years, I'm ready for it. I've been thinking about it for a couple of years now and I enjoy taking the lead role."

Promotion spark still alight

After several years of managerial stability under Smith, Whitney says Walsall's players can adapt to another change in the coaching setup as they challenge for promotion.

"I'd like to think they've coped with change so well this year and that's part of the process, given the coping strategies for us to be able to do that," Whitney said.

"I understand I'm at the helm now and with that comes a little bit of responsibility. I will give my all cause. If I fall short, that's life. Plans don't always go as you expect but I make sure I keep to my values and keep the same principles.

"The spark is still there. It's been really close and I believe we have been unfortunate with the points tally in the last four games."

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