Express & Star

Dean Keates: Walsall made the most of the break

Manager Dean Keates believes Walsall have made the most of the international break.

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Saddlers return to action at Luton on Saturday having not played a league match for a fortnight.

As well as giving his players a well deserved rest, Keates also took his squad go-karting last week.

And while the boss would have rather played last weekend, he feels they have used their time off wisely.

“Ideally I’d have liked to have played but it is what it is,” Keates said.

“The break has been good for us as a football club.

“We had a few players carrying knocks and its given us the chance to let one or two things settle down.

“And on the mental side of things, we have pushed the players a lot and asked a lot of them.

“It’s a young squad. There are a few players that have come from non-league so it was an opportunity for a few of them to have a breather, a break and take stock of everything.

“And the players that have moved to the area to be close to the football club, it’s given them a chance to go back home and see their families.

“It’s important sometimes you have that mental break away form football.”

Meanwhile, Keates says he will hold talks with AFC Telford United to see if they want to extend the loan of Callum Cockerill-Mollett.

The left-back has played twice for the Bucks during a month long stay in Shropshire.

But he has seen his playing time restricted due to not being eligible for their two FA Cup ties.

“He (Cockerill-Mollett) is going into his last seven days and then we’ll see how they feel regarding extending the situation,” Keates added.

“If they don’t extend it, he will come back in.

“They asked if he could play in the FA Cup.

“But for me, with it being just a month initially, I didn’t think there was enough stability.

“If it had been longer we would have said yes but with it being a month I said no in case I need him.”