Dean Keates: Referees sorry for Walsall blunders
Boss Dean Keates has been contacted by refereeing officials who confirmed Walsall have been on the wrong end of a number of poor decisions in recent weeks.
The Saddlers saw a five-game winless run come to an end in style on Saturday when they secured a 3-2 victory over Bradford at the Banks’s Stadium. But in their last two away matches, Keates’ men have seen a number of crucial refereeing decisions go against them.
At Blackpool – despite being awarded one penalty – Walsall could have had two others with Curtis Tilt handling the ball in the box. The defender also fouled Aramide Oteh just yards from goal.
Then in the loss at Coventry, defender Jack Fitzwater was tripped by Jordy Hiwula in the build-up to the Sky Blues’ second goal.
When speaking after both those games, Keates was furious with the decisions that went against his team.
And the boss has since received correspondence confirming he had every right to feel hard done by.
“We’ve had a lot of things go against us,” Keates said. “There have been decisions, really bad ones over the last few weeks. After the Coventry game, I had the assessor apologise for the foul on Jack Fitzwater for the second goal.
“Against Blackpool, we submitted our report and they came back and said we should have had two more penalties in addition to the one we had. They said we could feel hard done by due to the decisions that were made. One or two things haven’t gone our way. Luck, rub of the green, it hadn’t been with us. But the officials have apologised.”
Walsall beat Bradford on Saturday with 10 men after Andy Cook was sent off after just six minutes.
The result means the Saddlers now sit four points above the relegation zone in League One.
And Keates says that battling display must now galvanize the players in their bid to avoid relegation.
“We said at half-time this can galvanise our season and be a platform that we can build on,” the boss continued. “We are only four points clear, it’s still going to be very difficult down there, it’s going to be tough and it could go right to the wire but we can only look after ourselves.
“But the performance against Bradford has to be a platform. We now have to go to Burton and build on what happened against Bradford.”