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Dean Keates: I'm still the right man for Walsall

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Manager Dean Keates said he believes he is still the man to take Walsall forward despite seeing his side slip to a 3-0 loss at Coventry.

Dean Keates

Goals from ex-Saddlers Amadou Bakyoko and Jordy Hiwula as well as a Bright Enobakhare penalty penalty saw Keates’ men comfortably beaten at the Ricoh Arena.

The result means Walsall have now lost five consecutive games in League One and have won just once in 13 outings.

Keates was-born in Beechdale and famously won three promotions with his hometown side as a player.

But while he is under mounting pressure, he is adamant he can still turn his team’s form around.

“Am I the right man still for the job - definitely, I’ve got the fight in me,” Keates said.

“I want to take this club forward.

“I see myself in charge next weekend unless I am told any different.

It doesn’t matter I have played here and I’m from the area, the club will do what is right for the club to go forward.

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If that is me in charge, I will make sure everything possible is done this week to make sure those players give everything.”

Keates admitted his team’s display at the Ricoh Arena was far from good enough - with the boss conceding Coventry would have won by a greater scoreline but for goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

“There is only one player who can come off the field with any credit and that is Liam Roberts,” he said.

There was nothing to split Walsall and Coventry in the opening half-hour of the match.

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But Keates admitted his team’s quality in the final third was nowhere near good enough.

“The first 20/25 minutes they had a lot of ball,” the boss continued.

“We knew what we were doing with the wide players rolling in.

“We didn’t really get split. And when we broke the balls into the box weren’t good enough.

“We had the opportunity to put 12 crosses into the box today and all 12 hit the first man.”

While his players didn’t perform, Keates had nothing but praise for the 800 plus Walsall fans who travelled.

He added: “We had unbelievable support. To bring 800 fans here after five straight defeats, it’s incredible.

“They sang their hearts out and did everything they could for the football. They need a team that replicates that on the pitch.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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