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Keates delighted with 'massive' clean sheet

17 November 2018

Dean Keates was delighted with the “massive” clean sheet as the Saddlers held Fleetwood Town to a goalless stalemate.

The Walsall boss praised Liam Roberts’ shot-stopping for playing his part in maintaining the Saddlers’ fourth blank slate of the season.

“We chipped away and kept going but we’re pleased we kept a clean sheet," said Keates. "It’s massive for us. We’ve conceded a lot of sloppy goals.

“Other than Wallace’s volley in the second half, everything was easy saves for Robbo and he smothered that really well. He’s a young man but by his standards last week, the second goal for Coventry, he held his hands up and said he should have saved it.”

At the other end of the pitch, Keates rued two missed chances and a possible penalty shout.

“We had two free headers; Russ [Martin] should have done better and Jon Guthrie should have done better. Second half, they stepped up a little bit but we still created opportunities in the second half as well.

“On another day maybe we could’ve had three points and the possibility of a penalty near the end of the game. I’ve seen it back and there’s been less given against us this season.”

His youthful Saddlers side’s tally of corner kicks was an indicator of the attacking threat posed.

“Performance wise, it’s a lot better than it has been over the past few weeks. Fairly dominant in the first half and we went in at half-time having had 10 corners, and added to that in the second-half.”

“It’s a young squad up until Russ was added and he’s made a difference already – you can see that in the changing room.

“They’ll keep growing but there’s going to be ups and downs over the course of the season. A lot of young lads from Premier League and Championship teams, and also non-league. It’s a work in progress.”

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