Dean Keates: Let’s keep good times rolling at Walsall
Boss Dean Keates wants Walsall to build on the feel-good factor from their late win at Bristol Rovers by beating Middlesbrough in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The Saddlers entertain Boro’s under-21s at the Banks’s Stadium tonight on the back of a last-gasp victory at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
That result – thanks to Kieron Morris’ 94th-minute goal – saw Walsall get back to winning ways after they failed to score against both Accrington Stanley and Shrewsbury.
And with Walsall now not playing a league game until October 20 due to the international break, Keates said Morris’s goal will make the next 10 days more enjoyable.
“The win at Bristol Rovers was massive for us,” the boss said. “We came away feeling we got what we deserved when we could have been frustrated again.
“It wouldn’t have been nice going into another long period without a goal.
“It’s was something we had drilled into the players after the disappointment of Shrewsbury where we felt we should have won the game.
“It would have been a long time before another league match so it was massive we got that victory. But we now want to make sure we go into that league match against Luton on the back of a good win against Middlesbrough.”
Keates will rotate his squad tonight with the boss eager to give players who have missed out recently some much needed minutes.
“We are approaching it in the same way we approach any game – we want to go out there and win the football match,” the boss continued. “There are only so many changes we can make because of the rules of the competition. But we will respect it, as we did against Burton.
“It is a squad game and I’ve got players who are frustrated.
“Connor Ronan for example, he’s come in and done well but he is finding that his minutes are a bit sparse at the moment.
“But we tell them to keep going and when they get the opportunity to stake their claim as best they can. That then gives me a decision to make.”