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Dean Keates: Walsall players 'gave everything' in 'unbelievable' FA Cup win

By Joe Edwards | Walsall FC | Published:

Dean Keates is proud of his Walsall players after they 'gave everything' to win a dramatic FA Cup clash with Coventry City.

Dean Keates

The Saddlers led 2-0, were pegged back to 2-2 and eventually won the first round tie through Nicky Devlin's scorcher.

It is the first time they have been in the hat for the second round for three years.

"It was an unbelievable FA Cup tie. It was end-to-end," said Keates.

"It was two teams having a right go at each other.

"Their first goal, there is a blatant handball but the lads kept going.

"I asked them to put a shift in for the club - and they gave everything."

The victory was particularly sweet for Keates as Walsall had lost their previous two matches at the Banks's.

"It has been a difficult few weeks. The players have had a fair bit of abuse," said Keates.

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"But sometimes you have to take it. They took it on the chin, and they gave a reaction.

"To go 2-0 up and then get pegged back to 2-2, they showed great character to win it.

"We were on the back foot for the first 15 minutes of the second half but we weathered that and got back into the game."

He added: "I had some honest conversations with the lads during the week.

"I asked them to get back to what they are about – play on the front foot, be aggressive in the right areas and, ultimately, make sure you enjoy it. And they have got smiles back on their faces."

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Sports reporter for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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