Dean Keates 'over the moon' with his Walsall side after 'difficult few weeks'
Dean Keates admitted he was "over the moon" with his team's performance after a hat-trick from Andy Cook inspired Walsall to a 3-0 win over Gillingham.
In what was the Saddlers most convincing victory of the season, Cook netted two in the first-half and was on target again shortly after the interval to cap what was a dominant display at Priestfield.
The result ended a seven-game winless run for Keates' side.
But while Cook was undoubtedly the man of the match, Walsall had towering performances throughout the team.
And Keates admitted he was delighted by his side's overall display.
"It's been difficult the past few weeks," the boss said.
"But I am absolutely over the moon with them. I thought they were outstanding from start to finish.
"It was a good, professional performance.
"Performance-wise, over the past few weeks, it's not been horrendous. We have been quite close to doing something.
"We have just not helped ourselves. But I felt every decision we have made defensively was spot on.
"It was a full-team effort, Cookie will get the headlines. But as a team performance, it was perfect for us."
Cook's hat-trick, his first for the club, has seen him move onto 15-goals for the season.
The striker's second came from a Matt Jarvis cross. And Keates is thrilled with how the pair are linking up.
"I have given him (Cook) a bit of stick because I told him it should be his second hat-trick, he should have got one at Bradford," Keates joked.
"He scores goals. I knew that when I brought him into the football club.
"He works hard, he puts himself about and he gets in people's faces.
"He does a job for the team that not many people see. But when he gets opportunities he scores goals.
"And that is why I bought Matty Jarvis into the football club. You saw what he was about with those crosses."