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Keates: a crucial run of games

11 January 2019

Dean Keates admits the Saddlers face a crucial run of games, with six of the next eight matches against teams lower down the table.

The Saddlers are 15th heading into tomorrow’s fixture against a resurgent Scunthorpe, who have won their last three to climb up to 17th, two points behind Keates’ side.

With games against strugglers Plymouth, Gillingham, Rochdale, AFC Wimbledon and Bradford coming up, the boss knows Walsall need to be picking up points – starting against the Iron.

“We’re coming into a batch of games that are crucial for us going forward as a club,” said Keates.

“I wouldn’t say they’re make or break, but we can make our life a lot easier or a lot harder.

“It’ll be a difficult game, especially after what Scunthorpe have added, with five signings over the last few weeks.

“They’ve won three games on the bounce, but they’ve had a very good squad from day one.

“They had a change in the managerial position and he’s obviously got his message across.

“They’ve picked up three decent results and it’ll be a difficult game, but we’ll go into the game confident and hopefully we can pick up three points.”

Keates doesn’t feel results have reflected performances in recent weeks, insisting the Saddlers should be five points better off.

“We’ve cost ourselves over the last few games,” he added.

“Performance-wise, we’re not playing badly, but we’re not making the right decisions at crucial times.

“At Peterborough, there’s no doubt we should have got three points – that was two points dropped.

“The home performance against Luton, we should have got an extra two points there.

“The second-half performance against Charlton merited a point, so we should be five points better off.

“There’s a long way to go and we have to go back to what we’re about and that’s doing the basics properly.”

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