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Club News

Keates pleased with defensive improvement

13 April 2018

Club News

Keates pleased with defensive improvement

13 April 2018

Boss Dean Keates is pleased with his side’s recent defensive improvement.

The Saddlers have only conceded two goals in three games since Keates took charge, keeping a clean sheet in the vital 1-0 victory over Bury.

Before then, Walsall had shipped 57 goals in 38 league matches, recording just six shut-outs.

“We look a lot more organised now - we’ve got a better shape and we’re a lot more disciplined,” said Keates.

“The other night [against Oldham], if the right decision had been given in the build up to their goal, we would have kept a clean sheet.

“At half-time, we asked them to make sure we kept a clean sheet in the second half.

“We were put under a lot of pressure, and the conditions were difficult with the wind.

“But anyone who was there could see that they put everything on the line to keep a clean sheet in the second half.

“The desire and spirit was there – they put their bodies on the line, blocked shots and were committed.

“That is all you can ask for.”

Four points from the last two games against Bury and Oldham have moved the Saddlers six points clear of the relegation zone.

And Keates says victory over AFC Wimbledon tomorrow can make it a really good week.

“We’re happy with how the last two results have gone,” he added.

“We got three points at home and went up to Oldham and did a good job.

“In the second half we got put under a lot of pressure but we came away with a hard-earned point.

“If we can back that up with three points at home against Wimbledon, then it will have been a good week.”

The relegation-threatened Dons beat play-off chasing Charlton 1-0 last time out – and Keates is expecting another tough test.

“They had a great result the other night against a team in the play-offs,” he commented.

“They’ll have taken a lot of confidence from that and looking at their last few games, they’re a big, strong, physical team that are well organised.

“Lyle Taylor is very lively and Joe Pigott is a handful too.”

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