Dean Keates: On-field spat is already behind Walsall
Morgan Ferrier and Luke Leahy have already put their on-field clash to bed says Walsall boss Dean Keates.
Tempers flared during Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Doncaster – the Saddlers’ first in League One this season – with team-mates having to separate Ferrier and Leahy on a bizarre afternoon at the Banks’s Stadium.
But Keates is looking forward to moving on from the incident.
“It’s emotions – I’ve had a chat with them in the changing room about it and it’s done and dusted,” the boss said. “It’s put to bed, that issue. Ideally, that doesn’t happen on a football pitch.
“I don’t mind seeing it in the changing room but I’m a believer that if it happens, it goes down the plughole with the shampoo come 5pm.
“It’s passion and they care. Some people don’t like having someone else on their back and they are still getting to know each other, it’s still early days for them as a group.”
Keates, though, warned all his players that places are up for grabs at Oxford United next Saturday following a lacklustre display. “We weren’t good enough and we have to look at ourselves,” the boss said. “There was no tempo against Doncaster, we didn’t play.
“The lads are gutted the unbeaten run has come to an end.
“But I’ve told them there are positions up for grabs now. To a man, not many performed to their usual standards.
“It’s all about the reaction now, we have got ourselves off to a good start and in a decent position.
“We’ll have a good weeks training and make sure we go to Oxford and give a performance that will hopefully get three points.”
Keates was forced to substitute Isaiah Osbourne early in the second half of Saturday – with the boss revealing the midfielder had a stomach bug which also affected youngster Dylan Parker.
“He (Osbourne) is OK – he had a bit of a stomach upset,” the boss continued. “There has been a bit of a bug going around. We had to sent Dylan Parker home with it on Friday.
“Has he picked it up from the changing room? I don’t know but we’ll monitor him to make sure we have fully fit and healthy squad next weekend.”
Walsall also announced on Saturday that promising full-back Callum Cockerill-Mollett has joined Telford on a month’s loan.
And Keates feels it’s a good move for the 19-year-old.
“Callum has gone out on loan for a month,” he added. “We want him to get some games. It’s the same situation with Jordan Sangha. It’s an opportunity for him to go and play in a men’s league.”