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Keates: Saddlers were on the wrong side of fine margins

4 February 2019

Dean Keates felt his side were on the wrong side of fine margins in the defeat to Rochdale.

Goals from Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Ethan Hamilton, either side of a stunning solo effort from Joe Edwards, were enough to secure the visitors all three points.

Keates knows we went a little too direct over the course of the game and has encouraged his side to play with the creative spark they showed in the final 15 minutes.

“It was one of the most disappointing defeats since I have been here,” said Keates.

“In possession, we weren’t good enough if I’m honest. We didn’t make enough passes and, for whatever reason, we ended up going a little bit too direct.

“When we did make passes in the last 10-15 minutes, we created some good opportunities and I think the fine margins of football are not going our way at the moment.

“They got a lot of blocks in and their one opportunity in the second half, they were a lot more clinical with it.

“It goes through [Ian] Henderson’s legs, through Jon Guthrie’s legs and into the bottom corner.

“There’s a bit of a difference with the first goal whereby it’s a coming together. 

“It ricochets off two of our players and it just drops down to their player.

“It's the fine margins of football when things aren’t going for you. The kid’s hit it on the half-volley and it’s gone into the top corner. 

“No matter what you do, whether you go man to man or zonal, it’s a coming together between three players – two of ours and one of theirs – and it just ricocheted to their player.”


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