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Keates relieved as Saddlers secure safety

1 May 2018

Dean Keates expressed his relief after we secured our League One status with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at mid-table Bradford.

Erhun Oztumer’s 17th goal of the season gave the visitors a 23rd-minute lead but Matty Lund equalised with a header in first-half injury time.

Jordan Gibson and Tony McMahon had chances for City after the break, but Walsall held on to move four points clear of the relegation zone, with just one match remaining.

“It feels great – a massive relief,” said Keates.

“It wasn’t a classic but it didn’t need to be – it just needed to be effective.

“We played well in the first half but conceded a bad goal on the stroke of half-time which changed the team talk.

“In the second half we got put under a bit of pressure but the lads dealt with it.

“Robbo [Liam Roberts] pulled one good save off but all of the pressure was in front of us and in the middle of the pitch.

“They had a lot of pressure but they didn’t hurt us too much. They had a couple of half-chances but we put our bodies on the line and made blocks.

“The distances were correct, we worked well as a unit and we did the job.”


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