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Walsall wary of lowly Shrewsbury

By Nathan Judah | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall boss Dean Keates believes Shrewsbury are a better side than their league position suggests as the teams prepare to lock horns in the derby.

Dean Keates

The Saddlers, who lost to Accrington Stanley on Saturday, host their West Midlands rivals at the Banks’s Stadium tomorrow in what is a huge game for both sides.

Currently seventh in the League One table, Keates’ side have made an impressive start to the new campaign. But they have failed to win in each of their last four outings on home turf.

Shrewsbury, meanwhile, have won just one league game all season – with John Askey’s side conceding a stoppage-time equaliser against Gillingham on Saturday.

Keates, though, believes they are a better team than their position of 19th in the table suggests.

“If I am honest, the games I have seen of them so far this season – the league table doesn’t reflect where they should be,” he said. “They have had a few things go against them. They conceded in the last minute again against Gillingham on Saturday.

“It’s going to be difficult game, it’s a derby and we will make sure our lads are up for it. We will see what Shrewsbury’s strengths are and what their weaknesses are.

“And all being well we’ll put a game plan together to get three points.”

Shrewsbury shocked everyone by finishing third in League One last season. There have been suggestions Keates’ side will be the surprise package this year. But the boss isn’t interested in comparisons.

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“We don’t want to compare ourselves to anyone,” he continued. “The main aim is to get ourselves to 52 points as quick as we can.

“We were disappointed we dropped points against Accrington but we now have a chance to put that right against Shrewsbury.”

If Walsall are to win tomorrow, Keates admits his team must be more clinical, with the Saddlers lacking a cutting edge in the loss to Stanley.

“In previous games we have been clinical but for whatever reason that didn’t happen on Saturday,” the boss added. “T

hat final ball, pass, cross even the execution of the shot wasn’t good enough.”

Nathan Judah

By Nathan Judah
@njudah_star

Digital Sports Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

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