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Dean Keates: Walsall working on late goals

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall boss Dean Keates has warned his players they must improve their decision making in order to stop leaking late goals.

Dean Keates

The Saddlers currently sit fifth in the League One table following an excellent start to the 2018/19 campaign.

But they have picked up a habit of conceding late goals.

Against Gillingham, Wimbledon, Macclesfield, Burton, Doncaster and Oxford, Walsall conceded in the 87th minute or later.

And Keates admits it has got to stop – with the boss having spoken to his players about the issue in training this week.

“It something we needed to talk about,” he said. “We need to look at some decisions which could be better.

“And we need to look at the point where we last had contact with the ball.

“It’s not a fitness thing – all the data and stats we get tell us it’s not that.

“It’s about making the right decisions and that’s something that needs to be addressed. But it is getting addressed.”

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Meanwhile, Keates confirmed Walsall will have George Dobson available for the weekend despite the midfielder sitting on five yellow cards.

The Saddlers skipper picked up his fifth booking in 11 games at Oxford last weekend.

But one of those arrived at Tranmere in the League Cup meaning he is still one yellow card away from a suspension in League One.

Keates though feels the 20-year-old is doing little wrong with the boss fearing the game is becoming a non-contact sport.

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“George has got five bookings but one is cup specific so he is available for Accrington at the weekend,” he said.

“The way he plays and the way he applies himself, he covers every blade of grass and he competes for everything.

“He does run the risk of picking up bookings.

“The game is going away from being a contact sport. Some of them decisions, watching them back, they aren’t yellow cards.

“I think back to the one at Tranmere – that isn’t going to hurt us this weekend – but he has taken the ball.

“Unfortunately that is the way the game is.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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