Dean Keates calls on Walsall's 12th man
Boss Dean Keates has called on Walsall fans to be his team’s 12th man as they prepare to face Bury in a relegation six-pointer.
The Saddlers welcome Ryan Lowe’s side to the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday sitting just two points above the drop zone in League One.
Bury have already beaten Walsall twice this season. But they look destined to be playing in League Two next year with the Shakers 12 points from safety with just six games remaining.
And with so much at stake, Keates has urged fans to give his players the support they need to win the game.
“We had great support against Portsmouth,” the boss said.
“The fans really stuck with the lads. Now we need the same again. We all want the same thing and that’s to make sure we are in League One next season.
“Hopefully they can be the 12th man and really get behind us.
“We need everyone to get us behind us on the pitch in these last seven games. If a pass goes astray, a pass goes astray.
“You have to forget about. We need everyone to pull together. That is our best chance of still being in the division next season.” Keates, who favours a 4-4-2 formation, has a selection dilemma on the left of midfield with Kieron Morris the only experienced winger in the squad.
The boss opted to play striker Julien Ngoy in that role against Portsmouth.
But he was keeping his cards close to his chest when asked if he will continue to utilise the Stoke loanee in that role.
“It’s a possibility but you’ll just have to wait and see,” the 39-year-old said.
“He’s been at Stoke since he was a young lad and I’ve spoken to people who have brought him all the way through the academy system.
“He can play up front and he does like to drift between the centre-half and the full-back.
“It is something we might look at again ahead of the weekend. But we have a few options. Everyone will have to wait and see.”