Dean Keates targets two wins for Walsall survival

Walsall boss Dean Keates has challenged his players to win two of their last three games if they want to stay in League One.

Walsall manager Dean Keates
Walsall manager Dean Keates

The Saddlers now sit just one point above the relegation zone after they fell to a 1-0 loss at Scunthorpe on Saturday.

On what was an incredibly frustrating afternoon for Keates’ side, there was nothing to separate the teams until Walsall switched off to allow Ryan Yates to score.

With relegation rivals Oldham and Rochdale in action tomorrow, the Saddlers could find themselves in the bottom four before they return to action against Northampton.

But Keates believes they will stay up if they win that crunch relegation six-pointer and then beat either Bradford or Fleetwood in their final two matches.

“The comfort we take is that it is still in our hands – we can control it,” Keates said. “But we are running out of games and teams around us are picking up points.

“We have got to pick up a win. And out of the next three games I think we have to look at picking up two wins to make sure we stay in League One.

“Two wins would take us to 54 points and you’d think that would be enough to keep us up.”

Keates reiterated that the result against Scunthorpe was a tough one for his side to take, despite the Iron still being in with a chance of winning promotion through the play-offs.

“Scunthorpe was a hard one to take because I think a draw was a fair result,” the boss added.

“But when you are in the play-offs, things go for you.

“But apart from the moment we switched off, I don’t think they ever looked likely to score.

“We looked organised, we looked to frustrate them for long periods of the game and I think we did.

“We did well at times. But we cannot switch off and that is why we are where we are.

“It’s consistency. But to get consistency in your performances you have to do the right things and make the right decisions.”

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