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Keates pleased with desire and commitment despite defeat

31 March 2018

Dean Keates was pleased with the desire and commitment of his side despitthe Saddlers’ 1-0 home defeat by play-off chasing Portsmouth.

Gareth Evans’ late strike settled the contest and condemned Walsall to a fourth consecutive loss without scoring.

“We’re disappointed that we’ve fallen to a defeat but the lads showed a performance full of desire and commitment,” said the boss.

“If they show that desire and commitment towards getting out of the situation we’re in, we’ll be ok come the end of the season.

“We showed a lot more structure defensively and defended better.

“On the attacking side, we didn’t create too much. We had a couple of half-chances but didn’t test their goalkeeper.

“We’re disappointed with their goal. A little bit of composure with the clearance would have helped us out and on the second phase the lad produced a good finish.”

The Saddlers take on Bradford at Valley Parade in 48 hours’ time and Keates is looking for an immediate reaction.

“It’s a quick turnaround for us,” Keates added.

“They played on Thursday night so they’ve got a couple more days to recover.

“We’ll pick the lads up, come in tomorrow and do it properly, and hopefully we can go to Bradford and get some points.

“It’s a tough place to go but everywhere is tough in this division.

“We’re in a relegation dogfight.

“We need to go there, be as organised as we can be, be on the front foot and, all being well, we can get three points.”

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