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Keates looking to keep teams guessing

14 September 2018

Dean Keates wants his players to feel comfortable in different formations to keep the opposition guessing.

The Saddlers deployed a 4-4-2 for the first nine games of the season before switching to a 4-1-4-1 – which became a 4-3-3 when attacking – for last week’s draw at Barnsley.

The Walsall boss is pleased to have another system up his sleeve – and says we are working on other alternatives to his preferred 4-4-2 shape.

“The formation was something we had looked at and it is something I wanted to play with,” said the 40-year-old, whose unbeaten side host Doncaster tomorrow.

“At the weekend it was the right thing to do.

“Looking at Barnsley, the two previous teams they played were 4-4-2 and we wanted to change it.

“It is something we have got in our armour and we can now flick in between and it has given us another option.

“There are one or two other things we have been looking at as well over the last few weeks on the training ground.”

Like the Saddlers, Grant McCann’s Rovers have also started the season brightly and sit in seventh place, with just one defeat from their opening seven league matches.

“It will be a difficult game,” Keates added.

“They have had a good start. They have had a change of manager and he has had the chance to implement what he wants to do with the club going forward.

“He went in in the middle of pre-season, changed a few things and it will be a difficult game for us.

“They will be organised, they play with a good shape so it will be tough but we are at home so we will be doing our best to go out and get three points.”

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