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Dean Keates’ only focus is on the next game for Walsall

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Boss Dean Keates insists there is no extra pressure on Walsall’s clash with Fleetwood – despite the fixtures that follow.

Dean Keates

The Saddlers host Joey Barton’s side at the Banks’s Stadium tomorrow sitting 20th in League One, just two points above the drop zone.

But while they are in a precarious position, recent performances suggest they should have enough to avoid relegation.

After beating Bradford with just 10 men, the Saddlers then put in an impressive display at Burton last weekend, only to be held to a goalless draw.

But while their form has improved, the Saddlers are now braced for an incredibly tough run of games.

After the clash with the Cod Army, Walsall then face Portsmouth, Sunderland and Barnsley – three teams all still in the race for automatic promotion.

That has led to some fans suggesting tomorrow could be make of break, but Keates says that isn’t the case.

“It’s Fleetwood tomorrow and Portsmouth on Tuesday, it’s a quick turn around but we are just getting ourselves ready for the Fleetwood game at the minute,” the boss said.

“It’s going to be a difficult game. They are very organised, they play from a shape and they have got a lively front three.

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“There is pressure on the game because it’s our next game, there is pressure on every game.

“We want to get something out of it because we will feel that puts us in a little bit of form.

“It’s Portsmouth, Sunderland and Barnsley after that but that doesn’t put any extra pressure on tomorrow.

“In the situation we are in we have to take things one game at a time. But against the top teams we have performed well.

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“Against Sunderland, Luton and Barnsley we have performed well this season.

“At the minute, the focus is on Fleetwood.

“But we’ll go into the three games after that ready.”

Walsall will be without Andy Cook tomorrow with the striker serving the second game of a three-match ban following his red card against Bradford.

Fellow forward Morgan Ferrier has also been missing in recent weeks with the 24-year-old having struggled with a hamstring problem.

And Keates kept his cards close to his chest when asked if Ferrier would be available tomorrow.

“We came through the Burton game unscathed,” the boss added.

“They were all fine after that.

“With Morgan, you’ll have to wait and see.

“He is just finishing the rehab side – whether the weekend is too soon, we’ll see.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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