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Keates: Saddlers must handle pressure

6 April 2018

Dean Keates says his side must handle the pressure that comes with being in a relegation battle.

The Saddlers sit just two points above the bottom four in 18th ahead of tomorrow’s “massive” match with bottom club Bury.

And after four straight defeats without scoring, Keates knows the Saddlers must start picking up points.

“Bury is massive,” said the boss. “It’s not just this game, all games are massive for us now going into the run-in.

“It’s in our hands so we are accountable. All we can do is worry about ourselves and pick up the points we need.

“We’ve not won in four so we need to pick up some points – we need to stop the rot.

“There is going to be pressure on us because we need to win. It’s a must not lose game.

“The pressure is what it is. You can only protect the players so much – they have to deal with it.

“When they cross that white line, you have to put trust into the players to go out and make the right decisions.

“We’re expecting a difficult game.

“They’re having a few troubles themselves and they need to pick up some points to give them any kind of chance of getting out of the relegation places.”

The Bury game is the first of three crucial home fixtures against teams below us, with AFC Wimbledon and Northampton also set to visit the Banks’s this month.

And Keates has urged the fans to give the players as much support as possible.

“We had great support against Portsmouth – they stuck with the lads all the way through the game,” he added.

“We need everyone to get behind us again in these last seven games.

“We all want the same thing – and that is to be in League One come next season.

“Hopefully they can be the 12th man at the weekend.”

Keates confirmed that midfielder Flo Cuvelier, who was withdrawn in the second half against Pompey with cramp, will be available for tomorrow’s game.


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