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‘It’s actually happened!’ – Walsall fans react to major club news



Walsall manager Jon Whitney was dismissed last night with the struggling Saddlers 14th in League One, just six points clear of the relegation spots.

Whitney stepped up from assistant manager in March 2016 having previously been the club’s physio, firstly as caretaker but then from June as permanent manager. Despite being a hugely popular figure at the Bescot, he hasn’t been able to convert that into results.

The 2-0 defeat at Shrewsbury this weekend was their 15th defeat of the season, which means they still have a slim chance of relegation to League Two. The loss was their fourth in five games, one of those a humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Rochdale.

Whitney had a solid career as a player in the lower leagues, turning out for Huddersfield before playing the bulk of his career at Lincoln City. He was promoted to the third tier with them in 1998 and later joined Hull City. He moved into physiotherapy upon retirement and first joined Walsall in 2003.

Coach Ian Sharps will now take temporary charge of the side, with former England assistant manager John Ward, the club’s current professional development coach.

Walsall fans took to Twitter apparently bearing no real malice for Whitney, but widely welcoming the decision. Some were calling for former Walsall player and current Wrexham manager Dean Keates to be appointed.