Monday, 31 July 2017

@BescotBanter 3:45 pm Monday, 31 July 2017
James O'Connor Facing the Axe as Whitney Considers His Options

James O'Connor Facing the Axe as Whitney Considers His Options

32-year-old O'Connor, who joined the Saddlers in the summer of 2014, has made over one-hundred and twenty first-team appearances for the club.
Walsall manager Jon Whitney has spoken to the local press and confirmed that central defender James O'Connor, who recently suffered an injury which has seen him miss the recent pre-season friendlies, does not feature in his plans for the upcoming campaign.

Jon, who was speaking to Express & Star reporter Joseph Masi, confirmed; "I’ve been open and honest with Jimmy and I’ve told him I don’t see him playing many minutes for me with the way I want to play this season.

"A couple of weeks into pre-season, as a coaching staff, we felt we needed more of a physical presence at the back. Tactically, I wanted to try and get James Wilson and I mentioned to Jimmy he may not get many minutes because of that.

"Kory Roberts is coming through and we have got really high hopes for him. We want him to step forward. And I am still in talks with Matty Preston. Our decision was to go with James Wilson, Jon Guthrie, Kory Roberts and keep Matty Preston.

"We want Kory to realise his potential and with Matty we are at a stage where we feel we can make him technically better and make him a big player for this club in the future."

Whitney continued; "Jimmy has currently got his injury so he is concentrating on getting himself fit. It’s a hip injury. It’s nothing serious. It’s non-surgical and he has been working really hard to get back fit.

"I have got no problems with Jimmy. It happens in football. It happened to me when I was at Hull. I’m not closing the door on Jimmy but I don’t see him playing many minutes with the way I want to play."

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