Jon Whitney: Walsall manager 'can't keep carrying the can'

Jon Whitney has won 30 and lost 31 of his 86 matches in 19 months in charge of Walsall
Jon Whitney has won 30 and lost 31 of his 86 matches in 19 months in charge of Walsall

Walsall manager Jon Whitney says he "can't keep carrying the can" for his players' errors at the League One club.

The Saddlers boss is under fire from Walsall fans after a run of just one win in nine games - which culminated in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup first round exit at League Two side Newport County.

"I'm accountable but so are the players," Whitney told BBC Sport.

"I can't keep carrying the can and taking the pressure off. Certain players have got to look within."

Whitney added: "I understand the fans' frustration after the game. They've got a right to do that.

"I know a few things have been aimed at me but some of of the players have got to take some of it too.

"We'll only come though it if we stick together. It's about showing maturity, handling adversity and handling the pressure.

"You can't give a goal away in 25 seconds, as we did at the start of the second half. You can't account for the individual decision-making leading up to the goal."

Walsall, who reached the League One play-offs under Whitney after he took charge in March 2016, are 15th in the table - four points clear of the drop zone.

Walsall 'pulling in the same direction'

Walsall captain Adam Chambers received a commemorative shirt for reaching 500 games in October
Having made the landmark of 500 league games, Walsall captain Adam Chambers is now homing in on 600 matches in all competitions and 300 for the Saddlers

Walsall's long-serving captain Adam Chambers insists that the Saddlers players are all still together - and right behind their manager.

"We're all pulling in the same direction and trying to do our best for the manager," Chambers told BBC WM.

"It's disappointing when things aren't going well, but we're trying hard to putting things right.

"We're all behind him. All the lads are playing for him. I've got a lot respect for the gaffer. He's helped me a lot in my time here."

Chambers, who has made a total of 578 appearances in his 18-year professional career with West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield Wednesday, Kidderminster Harriers and Leyton Orient, has now played 299 games for the Saddlers.

Meanwhile, Walsall's scheduled League One trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, 11 November has been postponed because of international call-ups. No new date has yet been confirmed.

Jon Whitney and Adam Chambers were talking to BBC WM's Tom Marlow.

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