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Keates hails 'outstanding' Dobson

7 May 2018

Dean Keates has hailed the performances and attitude shown by midfielder George Dobson during his time with the club.

The 20-year-old was left out of the starting XI for Keates’ first two matches but fought his way back into the side for our final six games of the season.

Dobson went on to score a crucial last-gasp winner against Northampton and was handed the captain’s armband for the final-day trip to Fleetwood.

“He’s been outstanding since I came in – and not just in games,” said Keates.

“When I left him out when I changed things up early on, his attitude was absolutely outstanding in training.

“When he did come on as a sub, he forced my hand and I put him straight back in.

“He scored a great goal last weekend, was outstanding at Bradford and did well at Fleetwood.”

Keates made five changes for the Fleetwood match – and was impressed with one man in particular.

“I thought Callum Cockerill-Mollett was outstanding,” he said.

“For his age, coming in for his [league] debut, he was exceptional.”

First-half goals from Ashley Hunter and Paddey Madden earned Town a comfortable 2-0 victory – and Keates was disappointed with his side’s defending.

“It summed up the season.

“We showed naivety for the goals, with spare bodies in the box. We left it one-v-one when someone else could have gone out and doubled out on their wide player.

“It was probably the story of our season – definitely over the short time I’ve been in charge.”

Over 1,000 Saddlers supporters made the trip to the Fylde Coast – and, moving forward, Keates wants to assemble a team they can be proud of.

“The support was unbelievable.

“You want to finish as positively as you can and we brought up a great following. You want to give them something to remember the last game by, and it’s their day out.

“It’s up to me now that they continue their support and their passion for the club, and we can put a team out there that mirrors what goes on in the stands.

“It’ll be a busy summer, but that’s part and parcel of my job. I want to give the town, the club and the supporters a team to be proud of.”

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