Dean Keates vows to win over the doubters
Dean Keates has vowed to win over the doubters and get all of Walsall's fans behind him once again.
The Saddlers boss has understandably come in for criticism from a section of supporters following a run that has seen his side win just one of their last 12 games.
Despite that spell, there is still a huge will for the 40-year-old, who grew up in Beechdale, to turn things around and be successful.
And Keates – who won three promotions with Walsall as player – feels he will have only taken the club forward when he has all the fans behind him again.
"I understand the frustrations of the fans completely," the boss said.
"And I understand working class people. I am one of them. I’m from a family of that.
"You to go work Monday to Friday, it’s hard and you spend your money on season tickets or tickets on the day to watch football.
"People deserve to enjoy that. And if you don’t enjoy it, it becomes an investment that isn’t a wise investment.
"I fully understand where the moans and groans are coming from.
"Out of 100 per cent, I think 80 per cent are still behind me and I really appreciate that.
"But as a coaching staff we want to have the entire 100 per cent behind us and enjoying themselves, like they were at the start of the season.
"That is how you effect things properly, that is how you take a club forward."
Keates has a host of friends and family members who support the Saddlers. But he says he can handle the criticism that has come his way.
"When I came back I knew it would affect my family – they live in the area they work in the area," he continued.
"They are all surrounded by fans. It’s something I have spoken to them about because it was always a possibility things would be said. It is what it is.
"Football fans go to games and if they are not happy they going to voice their opinion.
"But my friends are my friends. There is a couple of them that are season ticket holders but we don’t discuss what happens at work."