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Dean Keates: Walsall aren't safe yet

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Boss Dean Keates insists Walsall are not safe yet as they prepare to face Bradford tomorrow.

Dean Keates

A 91st minute George Dobson goal produced scenes of jubilation at the Banks's Stadium on Saturday as the Saddlers secured victory over relegation rivals Northampton.

The result means Walsall will be safe if they take a point from their either of their final two games. They will also survive if Oldham or Rochdale fail to win on the final day.

But while the Northampton result was a huge step towards guaranteeing League One football, Keates is not getting carried away.

"The emotions were sky high after Northampton and we’ve got to bring them back down to earth because we’ve got a massive game at Bradford tomorrow," the boss said.

"It’s our game in hand and come 10pm on Tuesday, we can be a guaranteed League One football club.

“That is what we are looking to do. It’s another big game so I have got to bring the players back down because it's nowhere near done.

"It’s my job to let reality kick back in. We let them enjoy Sunday. But today is all about having a chat and looking at what we could have done better against Northampton.

"We will make sure we are ready for Bradford."

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Keates admitted he was delighted to get the win against the Cobblers the commitment of his players the thing that pleased it most.

"Everybody knows what was at stake so to score at that time – it's added euphoria going through your body," the boss added.

"It was then a case of getting a message onto the pitch for the lads to remain calm and compact because we were going to be put under pressure for those last two minutes.

"It was important we stayed calm to make the right decisions.

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"There has been a lot of criticism of the team and I can’t really speak about before I arrived.

"But since I’ve been here the lads have given everything and they did that against Northampton.

"Some of the blocks they got in were great. We were compact, and I thought we broke well in the second half.

"We got bodies forward and could have taken a few more of our opportunities."

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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