Dean Keates: There'll be no cup hangover for Walsall
Boss Dean Keates says he will make sure there is no hangover from Walsall’s Carabao Cup defeat to Macclesfield.
The Saddlers have enjoyed a flying start to the new season that saw them win five and draw one of their opening six matches.
That unbeaten run came to an abrupt end on Tuesday, though, when Macclesfield triumphed on penalties to send them crashing out of the League Cup.
But while Keates was disappointed to be knocked out, he insisted the result won’t affect his players heading into tomorrow’s League One clash with Blackpool.
“There will be no hangover from Macclesfield – we’ll make sure of that,” the boss said.
“The players were disappointed after the game. It’s good that they were disappointed.
“They have got accustomed to winning games, they have got a taste for it and losing is not something they have sampled this season.
“But the unbeaten run had to come to an end sometime and we’ll use those feelings to make sure we are ready for Saturday. We’ve picked them up and they’ll be fine.”
Meanwhile, defender Luke Leahy believes Walsall now have a togetherness and a confidence that wasn’t in place last season.
“We are a completely different side to last year,” the 25-year-old said. “Even though we have a lot of the same people, we are more confident, we are more free-flowing and if we make a mistake we have got someone to back us up.
“Everyone is enjoying their football. There is a real togetherness, everyone is smiling when they walk into the training ground.
“And it’s paying off, we are working hard Monday to Friday and because of that we are able to enjoy Saturday.”
Full-back Leahy has forged a promising partnership with winger Josh Ginnelly in the opening month of the season.
The duo are both originally from Coventry and travel into training together. But Leahy feels they can get even better.
“The partnership with Josh is going really well,” Leahy added. “We get on really well off the pitch, we travel in together – we’re always together!
“On the pitch, I know if he gets it I can go around him because he is right footed.
“If I track the full-back it gives him a couple of yards to cut in and cross or shoot. And if I bomb forward he will back me up and cover my position.
“Everything is going well but hopefully we can build on it and get even better.”