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Dean Keates: Walsall's luck will turn with hard work

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Boss Dean Keates believes hard work will be the key to Walsall turning their form around.

Dean Keates

The Saddlers travel to take on Blackpool tomorrow having claimed just one win from their six games in 2019.

Despite that poor run, Keates’ men have endured a rotten run of luck in their last three defeats.

Scunthorpe, Plymouth and Rochdale all beat them by a 2-1 scoreline despite having just two shots on target. But while Keates feels his team has been unfortunate, he warned his players, in football, you have to earn your own luck.

“You look at Rochdale’s first goal, the ball comes in, it ricochets off Andy Cook, it hits Joe Edwards bounces between them and Ethan Ebanks-Landell puts his foot through it and it’s gone in the top corner,” he said. “The second, a player has stepped out of position, the pitch has become split. That is where we are accountable and where we need to do better.

“But the kid has had a shot, it’s gone through (Ian) Henderson’s legs and Jon Guthrie’s legs and gone in. It’s fine margins. We just need a little bit of luck. We are joint top when it comes to hitting the post this season.

“But I’m a firm believer the harder you work the luckier you get. We have to do work hard, make sure the players give everything for the football club and then results will change.”

Walsall take on Blackpool tomorrow with Tangerine fans still at loggerheads with the club’s owners.

Attendances have dropped 70 per cent over the last four years due to the way the Oyston family are running things at Bloomfield Road..

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Despite that unrest, manager Terry McPhillips has guided the team up to eighth in League One.

And Keates believes the 50-year-old deserves credit for the job he’s done.

“There are a lot of things going on off the field at the football club,” Keates continued.

“But that is of no concern to us. Terry deserves a lot of credit.

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“Under difficult circumstances, he has built a side that is organised and well drilled.

“They have got a lot of pace in the side, they are good physically, they have got some very useful players.”

Meanwhile, Walsall’s Andy Cook has missed out on the League One Player of the Month award.

Instead, the honour went to Luton striker James Collins.

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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