WALSALL manager Jon Whitney has heaped praise on Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton ahead of tomorrow’s Sky Bet League One clash at the Bescot Stadium.

The West Midlands club are looking to shake off a four-match winless run as they target a top-half finish.

United are one of the sides they are looking to catch and Whitney has been impressed with Appleton.

The 46-year-old told the Express & Star: “I like him, he is very open and honest.

“He has done great things with a team that he has built.

“It will be a true test for us, but we want true tests over these six games.”

Whitney was at the Kassam Stadium on Wednesday night to watch United’s defeat to Fleetwood Town.

He said: “In the first-half their energy was really high and (Conor) McAleny was a handful.

“But they will be hurting a little bit off the back of Coventry.

“We have to make sure we can catch them.

“We don’t want those clubs to get away.”