The Football League Paper - - FA CUP QUARTER-FINALS - By Tom Black­ett

WHEN Wal­sall ap­pointed Sean O’Driscoll as man­ager in De­cem­ber it seemed a safe ap­point­ment – but it didn’t turn out that way.

Af­ter just 16 games in charge, the 58-year-old was sacked last week.The pro­mo­tion-chas­ing Sad­dlers were fourth in the ta­ble at the time, but on the back of a six-game win­less run.

O’Driscoll, who re­placed Brent­ford-bound Dean Smith at the helm, said: “I am ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed for the play­ers – their per­for­mances over the past month have not gained the points they de­served.

“This is a dif­fer­ent phase of the sea­son and, as we have re­peat­edly seen, teams have recog­nised the team’s strengths from the first half of the cam­paign and pre­pared to counter that when fac­ing us.”

As­sis­tant head coach Jon Whit­ney, 45, has taken con­trol of first-team affairs, along with Neil Cut­ler and John Ward.

“I’m ready for it,” Whit­ney told BBC WM. “I’ve been think­ing about it for a cou­ple of years now and I en­joy tak­ing the lead role.

"I un­der­stand I’m at the helm now and with that comes a lit­tle bit of re­spon­si­bil­ity. I will give my all for the cause. If I fall short, that’s life.”

GONE: Sean O’Driscoll

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