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Keates: Saddlers' hard work is paying off

11 March 2019

Saddlers manager Dean Keates was delighted to see that the hard work his players have been putting in on the training pitch has now transferred into games.

Prior to the Bradford win, Keates’ side had failed to score directly from a corner in a competitive match but they have now scored from them in two successive home fixtures.

In Saturday’s 2-0 win over Fleetwood Town, Morgan Ferrier made a goal-scoring return to the match day squad as he was in the right place at the right time to nod home George Dobson’s corner and Keates was pleased with his overall contribution.

“Set pieces are a massive part of the game and we have been on the end of a few goals from them and that does frustrate you but we are pleased that our work on the training ground is now paying off in games,” said Keates.

“In the games that Morgan has played in this year I think he has done really well. Unfortunately he pulled his hamstring in training.

“He got thrown in at the deep end against Fleetwood but he has contributed to the team and he has scored a goal. 

“Normally when you are out the team for a few weeks like he has been you don’t normally get a top given to you.

“I wouldn’t like to say that he is fortunate but maybe he is.

“He would have normally found himself on the bench but with Cooky out and Matt Jarvis having picked up a little bit of a niggle, he got thrown into the team and he scored and he is only going to get stronger on the back of that.”

As well as Ferrier’s contribution in the attacking third of the pitch, Keates was also delighted with the performance of the back four, as they kept their second clean sheet in as many games.

“Ched Evans and Paddy Madden have scored a lot of goals between them this season but I thought the whole back were outstanding,” continued Keates. 

“Dan Scarr hasn’t had many games so he is learning on the job so to say but he is getting used to everything now, he is settling into games and getting more professional minutes under his belt after not doing much in the first half of the season.

“Jon Guthrie is finding the form he had at the back end of last season again and the first 20 games of this season which is a big positive for us. 

“There have been games this season where we haven’t really given ourselves a chance to be in the game.

“We have spoken about it and we have worked on it on the training ground and I think we have looked a lot more disciplined shape wise and in their slots.

“We have had a little tinker with the shape in the last couple of games and the players have taken on the information the needed to and I thought we deserved the clean sheet today.” 


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