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Dean Keates: Northampton clash the biggest Walsall game in two years

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Boss Dean Keates believes Walsall’s six-pointer against Northampton is the biggest game the club has faced for two years.

Dean Keates has emphasised the importance of this weekend's game.

The Saddlers currently sit 20th in League One and are only out of the bottom four on goal difference.

But their survival hopes were boosted on Tuesday when Southend beat Oldham and Rochdale could only draw at home to Plymouth. Now Walsall have three games to get the points needed to stay up while their rivals – including Northampton – have just two.

And Keates admits the Saddlers will only have themselves to blame if they don’t survive.

“We’re accountable for what happens in the next three games,” Keates said.

“It’s still in our hands. We control what league Walsall Football Club is in next season.

“We spoke to the lads before Tuesday’s night games and we said – no matter what happened – we were still in control of our own destiny.

“The league table looks a little bit better for us but we are in charge of what we do.

“We have got a massive game against Northampton. It’s probably the biggest game for a couple of years for the football club. All being well we’ll get the points we want.”

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Walsall slipped to an unfortunate 1-0 loss against Scunthorpe last weekend.

And while Keates admitted that result was tough to take, he insisted the players remain in good spirits.

“It was disappointing – really disappointing against Scunthorpe,” he continued. “I walked into their manager’s office after the game, and I know it’s easy for them to say but they felt we were unlucky and they’d got out of jail.

“They were impressed with us and how we worked together as a collective unit. We were hard to break down.

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“The players were disappointed but we have to give the lads some credit, they gave it a right go and I think we made a team that is in the play-offs not look like they should be there.

“That is a positive for us. But obviously, we didn’t get any points.

“We have learnt from it, it’s another individual error.

“If we can eradicate them in the next three games we will be OK.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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