Dean Keates: Players to pay for Walsall slump on training ground

Dean Keates has warned his players they are in for a tough week on the training ground with the boss determined to shake things up in a bid to save Walsall’s season.

Dean Keates
Dean Keates

The Saddlers slipped to their fifth consecutive defeat at Coventry on Saturday, with that loss leaving them just two points above the drop zone in League One.

Having lost eight of their last nine, many pundits now expect Walsall to be relegated at the end of the campaign.

And Keates admits he has to do something differently if he is to haul his side out of their slumber.

“We’ve got a week on the training ground and it’s going to be a long week for the players,” the boss said.

“They need to give absolutely everything and there will be changes because what we have been doing hasn’t been working.

“Let’s not paper over anything. We are in horrendous form, we need to stablilise, find a result and build on it.

“There are 39 points to play for, before we know it there will be 36 so something has to be done before the Bradford game.”

Walsall’s defeat at Coventry saw a number of players under-perform – with the application and desire of some squad members being questioned.

Keates was asked if some of his players could have given him more at the Ricoh Arena.

But while he felt some didn’t show the commitment required, the boss refused to call them out publicly.

“It’s a difficult question and I’m not going to come out and point fingers at individuals and start naming names,” the boss said.

“The names are names that will stay behind closed doors. I will keep that in the changing room.

“All I can do is protect and encourage the players as much as I can.

“They need some self-belief and they need to show some resilience.

“The players have to regroup and give something for this club.

“They have to earn every penny they are paid and represent the club to the best of their ability.”

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