Dean Keates bemoaned his side’s inability to defend, and score from, set-pieces as the Saddlers fell to a 2-1 defeat at Plymouth.
Headers from Ryan Edwards and Niall Canavan, both from Graham Carey free-kicks, earned resurgent Argyle a fourth consecutive win – despite a fine solo goal from Andy Cook.
Josh Gordon and Cameron Norman both went close for Walsall from set-pieces, leaving Keates frustrated with his team’s lack of ruthlessness.
“It was a tale of set-pieces,” said the boss.
“They were clinical from their two, got two free headers. We had a couple of very good chances from set-plays – a couple of free headers but were not clinical enough.
“The boys were in the right areas but it’s that conviction to actually go and head it, make sure when you get the contact on it and score.
“The work-rate was there, the character was there, but it was frustrating to concede from set-pieces.
“They’re a massive part of the game and we work on them.
“There are things we do for different set-pieces. The players are given a man before the game and that’s their responsibility.
“If your man doesn’t score, you’ve done your job. But they’ve had two set-plays and two players have scored.”
Top scorer Cook continued his purple patch with a terrific individual effort – his fourth goal in two games and seventh in his last six outings.
“He gives absolutely everything and gets goals,” added Keates.
“He’s got good feet and showed great composure in the box.
“Looking at Cooky’s stats, he scores a lot more goals in the second half of the season than he does in the first.
“He will get more before the end of the season.”