Walsall boss Whitney insists all the pressure is on the Cobblers

Walsall boss Jon Whitney says the pressure is on the Cobblers as he prepares to bring his side to Sixfields for Saturday's Sky Bet League One clash.

Friday, 9th September 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 5:25 pm
LAST TIME OUT - action from Walsall's most recent visit to Sixfields in 2009, with the Saddlers, including Alex Nicholls, winning 2-0

The Saddlers have endured an indifferent start to the campaign and currently sit 19th in the table with one win and two draws from their opening five matches.

They threw away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 against Bury at the Bescot Stadium in their most recent league encounter, and have had to stew on that result as their scheduled game last weekend was called off due to international call-ups.

The Cobblers meanwhile are on a high after maintaining their unbeaten start to the season by beating Milton Keynes Dons on Sunday, claiming their first win of the campaign in the process to move up to 11th in the table.

Walsall come to Northampton in need of a result to get them away from the league one bottom four, but Whitney insists the pressure is on a Cobblers side he says ‘has spent a bit of money’ as they look to extend their record-breaking 30-match unbeaten league run.

“They have gone 30 games without defeat, but all runs must come to an end,” said Whitney, who was promoted to Saddlers manager from assistant in the summer.

“It is a challenge and it is a great opportunity for us to go and end that run.

“We understand it is going to be a tough ask, but we are not going to shirk away from it.

“I think all of the pressure is on Northampton because they have brought some good players in over the summer and they have spent a bit of money as well.

“It will be a test for both teams, and for a neutral it will be a great game to watch because both teams try and play the right way, but hopefully we can cause problems for them and be solid too.”

Like Page, Whitney is finding his feet in a new managerial role, and he has been impressed with what the Cobblers boss has done so far in his time at Sixfields.

“I respect Rob for what he has done, he has gone in at Northampton and kept the ball rolling, and they have momentum,” he said.

“I watched the game against Coventry, I watched the game against Wycombe, and obviously I watched it on Sky against MK Dons.

“They are a good organised team, they are a threat, they do their jobs, they know their responsibilities, and they are going to pick up points.

“They are organised, but so are we.

“They will be a threat and I respect them for what they are, but we have to concentrate on ourselves just as Rob said about his team.”

Walsall have won on their past four league visits to Sixfields, the most recent being a 2-0 win in February, 2009, and you have to go back to December, 1997 for the most recent time the Cobblers claimed three points from the Saddlers on home soil.