Dean Keates: Walsall must stay united
Boss Dean Keates says it’s imperative Walsall stay united as they continue their battle to stay in League One.
The Saddlers slipped to their seventh loss in 10 outings on Saturday when relegation rivals Rochdale left the Banks’s Stadium with a 2-1 victory.
That result means Walsall now sit just three points above the drop zone in League One.
Next up is a trip to Blackpool before Keates’ men host rock-bottom Wimbledon. The Saddlers then travel to Coventry before a home clash with fellow strugglers Bradford.
And Keates admits the next few weeks will have a big say in the League One survival race.
“It’s a massive period coming up – there’s no denying it, there is no smokescreen,” the boss said. “All that we can do is stay united, we need the fans to stay behind us and keep backing us.
“We have competition for places now so there will be changes if players are not performing.
“If they don’t seem up to the battle that we are in, then they will find themselves out of the team.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, no one is going to do us any favours, we have to look after ourselves. We’ve got 16 games left – and they are 16 massive games.”
While Walsall played some decent football and created chances in the closing stages against the Dale, they were guilty of going long far too often for 75 minutes.
And Keates agreed when asked if he felt his players looked apprehensive about making mistakes.
“I completely agree with that to be honest and I’ve said that to them,” the boss added. “It’s crucial we show character, you have to want the ball.
“Mistakes will happen, it’s how you react to them. You need to be brave