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Keates happy with Saddlers' performance in Cheltenham win

30 July 2018

Saddlers manager Dean Keates was happy with his side's performance in the final pre-season game against Cheltenham Town.

Goals from Nicky Devlin and Andy Cook gave Keates’ side a 2-1 victory in our last game ahead of the season opener against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

The boss felt it could, and probably should, have been a more comfortable victory.

And the 40-year-old has called for his team to be more ruthless when the competitive games come round.

He said: “We did well. We knew it was going to be a test, and a more realistic test of what we will come up against this season.

“I’m happy with the result and with the performance to an extent. I think we deserved the win.

“We got to 80 minutes and we were 2-0 up, but it could, and should have been more. We should have been more ruthless. Too many chances went a miss. A little bit of anxiety crept in and we didn’t keep our composure and move the ball.”

Speaking about some of the stand-out performers, Keates was keen to praise Josh Ginnelly, who returned to the side after missing the majority of the Saddlers' pre-season fixtures.

He continued: “Josh was bright, he was sharp. He has had a little niggle with tendinitis. It was just a case of protecting him for the three games he missed – that were all in a short space of time.

“But he has felt fine and has trained all week and we got 75 minutes into him at Cheltenham which is great.”

One person missing from the matchday squad through injury was goalkeeper Chris Dunn, but Keates believes he will be fit for the opening day.

“He has had a bit of a niggle but he’ll be fit for next week. It’s a bit of a strange one – he has had a bit of fluid come on his hip from the Ajax game.

“He is in every day training doing handling work but we have had to limit the contact side of things. We didn’t bring him because if he needed to come on he wouldn’t have been able to.

“But he’ll be fine for the season.”


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