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Walsall's Dean Keates keen to explore with three at the back despite Shrewsbury defeat

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published: | Last Updated:

Boss Dean Keates says he will continue to explore playing three at the back despite Walsall’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Shrewsbury.

Walsall boss Dean Keates.

The Saddlers lined up with three central defenders for the first time under the 40-year-old in Shropshire tonight.

But despite Kieron Morris netting late on, goals from Alex Gilliead and Doug Loft saw Salop claim victory in Sam Ricketts’ first game in charge.

And while he was disappointed with the defeat, Keates felt it was important to explore different tactical options.

“We had a look at changing something because we are Saturday, Tuesday now for the next few weeks,” the boss said.

“We had a tinker with the formation to look at something different.

“We thought it would allow us to play through them but you have to play with a bit of risk.

“We’ve had a bit of bug go through the football club, there are one or two who haven’t been in.

“It’s something we can revisit over time. We have got a lot of centre-halfs and it allows us to get a few extra players in the middle of the field.”

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Overall, Keates admitted he was disappointed with his team’s display against their West Midlands rivals.

“It was frustrating,” he added.

“We have lost the football match and we wanted to win it.

“I think the performance summed up the atmosphere. There are not many people in the ground.

“We said to the lads before the game there isn’t going to be an atmosphere - we have to create it.

“But we didn’t play with any urgency, there was no tempo to our play - especially first-half.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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