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Keates relieved after Coventry win

8 December 2018

Dean Keates was relieved to see the Saddlers break their duck after going without a win in six games.

The Saddlers turned the match on its head in the final five minutes to beat Coventry 2-1, despite Keates admitting it wasn’t one of his side’s best displays.

“They’re bouncing. It was very dramatic but better late than never. We were a little bit scrappy, we lacked a bit of quality in passing and we weren’t very fluent.

“The lads kept going and we ground something out. I’m not sure about the penalty, I’ve not seen it back but I thought we did enough in the second half to warrant that.

“We’ve played better and lost games so we’ll take it. We needed the win and it doesn’t matter how it came. We’ll take a scruffy win.”

Coventry-born Luke Leahy was at the double and Keates praised the left-back for his fearlessness in the face of goal.

“He’s gone up to take the corner and put a great ball in. It’s been cleared and he sent it back up to Robbo, he put one back in and he’s been brave. He beat the ‘keeper to it and it’s gone into an empty net.

“He was captain today and he showed great captain mentality. He drove his team on for the three points. It’s some nerves but he’s got a great left foot. He wore the armband on Wednesday night and today in the absence of Dobbo.”

The boss chopped and changed with the Saddlers’ shape but found a formation that fitted in the end, setting his players up in a midfield diamond.

“It gave us a little bit more up top. We tried 4-3-3 but it wasn’t really working. Shape-wise it seemed OK but we didn’t make use of the extra man in the middle of the park. We changed to go two up top and one just behind and it worked.

“We wanted to look at something a bit different with one or two carrying niggles. We set up a bit different and Coventry changed their formation as well so we cancelled each other first half. Other than the goal in the first half, I don’t think there was much in it.”

Keates’ side are now over halfway to his target points tally in League One.

“It’s about getting to 52 points as quickly as we can and today’s three points are gratefully received.”

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