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Club News

Keates: fans can make the difference

4 August 2018

Club News

Keates: fans can make the difference

4 August 2018

Manager Dean Keates believes the Saddlers fans can make the difference for his side this season.

The 40-year-old felt his team improved over the course of pre-season and is hopeful the supporters will have more to get excited about this term.

Speaking ahead of the Saddlers’ season opener against Plymouth Argyle, Keates is hoping the fans will buy into what he and the players are trying to achieve.

He said: “We came into the club at a difficult time last year but we are looking to kick on now.

“All of that is in the past now, we are fully prepared and I want to be able to send the fans home happy.

“We look at every game as an individual one, which I know is a cliché, but all being well we can hopefully get something out of the game against Plymouth.

“There was clear progression over the course of pre-season. We had a bit of a mad week when we played three games and after every game I thought there was an improvement.

“Then we had a bit of a break where we didn’t have a game for nine days before the Cheltenham one. We managed to have a chat with them and we got more things sorted.

“We looked at the tactical side of things and some things didn’t work against Cheltenham but we have looked back at them and we feel like we have addressed them now.

“It’s not just about having the fans on our side on Saturday, it’s about having them on board all through the season for the 23 games that we have to play at home.

“I will always look back to the atmosphere that was created when we played against Northampton and Dobbo scored that goal; that’s what I want all season because it makes a difference.

“The fans have always been the difference at the club, even when I played here. I hope the fans will buy into this group of players and everyone can unite and we can move forward as a united front.”

One player who certainly caught the eye in pre-season was new striker Andy Cook,

Signed from Tranmere Rovers on a two-year deal in May, the Saddlers’ new number nine scored three goals in our final two pre-season games.

Keates believes Cook is slightly different to other strikers in the league – but is confident he will have a successful campaign because he knows where the back of the net is.

He continued: “Cookie is a bit different to what everyone is used to as this level. He is a big lad, he puts himself about but, most importantly, he knows where the back of the net is.

“He can score with his head, he can score tap-ins and he can score from outside the box. He will have his own way of playing but I know he will be a real asset for us this season.”

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