Meet the former Huddersfield Town man and grave digger who is driving Walsall towards promotion.
Jon Whitney made 18 Town appearances between 1993 and 1996 as a combative defender.
And that same steely determination is working well for him in his role as Interim Head Coach at the Banks’s Stadium.
Walsall are third in the table and closing in on automatic promotion as they take on Fleetwood on Bank Holiday Monday (12.15).
Whitney is behind that surge to at least a guaranteed play-off spot and he revealed: “I kick and head every ball!
“It’s a dream for me to be doing this job and I enjoy it.
“Win or lose I give my all. When the lads go out I can’t really control it, but I can guarantee that no-one has prepared better than my coaches and my players, and we will see where it takes us come the end of the season.”
That could be to the Championship, and a date with his former club Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Whitney took over from the sacked Sean O’Driscoll seven weeks ago.
“I heard from some sources that we hadn’t got a cat in hell’s chance of the play-offs, but that fuels me,” said the 45-year-old, who also played for Wigan Athletic, Lincoln City and Hull City.
“It makes me slightly angry, but that’s good, as it gives us the hunger to prove people wrong.”
A physio and fitness coach, Whitney previously worked for his undertaker father-in-law after his playing days ended – and says he is drawing on all that experience.
“I’ve been through a lot,” added Whitney. “I dug graves for two-and-a-half years. This is a doddle compared to digging clay graves at six o’clock in the morning.
“Win or lose, I always find life exciting. I always try to find positives.
“Some people still don’t get me. They still try to pick at me. They keep trying to find chinks in the armour but they won’t find one.
“This is something I’m revelling in and I’m not going to waste it.”