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Dean Keates calls for cool heads as Walsall look to end slump

By Matt Maher | Walsall FC | Published:

Dean Keates has called for cool heads as Walsall look to end their current slump declaring: “This is no crisis.”

Dean Keates

The Saddlers host Scunthorpe on Saturday, aiming to halt a five-game winless run, which has seen them fall to 15th in League One – just five points above the relegation zone.

While critical of his team’s recent mistakes, boss Keates has been keen to focus on the positives ahead of a run he believes will define their season.

He said: “We are not at crisis point. I know some people might be, not panicking, but one or two things are getting said. That is football. There is a long way to go and we have to get back to doing what we do well, which is doing the basics properly.”

Chief among Keates’s frustrations has been his team’s ability to prove their own worst enemy.

The Saddlers have performed admirably in recent games with Peterborough, Luton and Charlton but been left to rue costly defensive errors.

“If we are entirely honest, we have hurt ourselves in the last few games,” said Keates. “At Peterborough we should have got three points, the same with Luton.

“We should probably have got a point at Charlton with our performance. We should be five points better off.

“That is part of the positive feedback. We have always been in the games against the better teams and nine times out of ten had opportunities to win the game.

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“We need to be better in seeing things over the line. We just have to make sure our decisions don’t cost us. At the moment they are. It’s split-second stuff but we have to get it right.”

He continued: “It has to sink in. At the moment we are beating ourselves.

“We have not been cut open. We have not been played through. Sometimes that will happen and you can’t do much about that.

“Performance-wise we have been OK. We just have to make better decisions.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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