Dean Keates urges Walsall to ‘be brave’ in battle
Walsall boss Dean Keates has stressed the need for his players to be brave if they are to stay in League One.
The Saddlers hopes of avoiding relegation were dealt a hammer blow on Saturday when they let a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 against AFC Wimbledon.
Had they held on to win the game, Keates’ men would be on the brink of safety. but they now sit just three points above the drop zone.
And the boss says his players are now going to have to step forward and be men to deal that psychological blow.
“We have got to be brave,” the boss said. “We have got to get our heads up because we have got a massive game next week against Scunthorpe. We have got to go there and get something. We have got to give an account of ourselves.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know we had to come out for the second half against Wimbledon and keep things tight.
“We tried to ram the message home at half-time but we have gone out there and not started right.
“That is what we will look at and that is probably the reason why I’m here, why somebody has lost their job – because we were naïve in the second half.
“It was a massive result and a massive blow. It just was not good enough.”
Keates admitted the result was particularly hard to take with Walsall seemingly having survival in their hands at half-time.
“We had picked up four points ahead of Wimbledon and we knew going into the game that if we picked up three points, it would have been a good week,” he continued. “We would have picked up seven points and we would have kept Wimbledon completely at arm’s distance.
“We would possibly even have been safe looking at how the other results have gone but it’s not happened.
“So the lads have to brave this week, they need to take the blow, which it is, and they have to come back in, get their heads up and be men about it.”