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Keates Calls For Clear Minds Following a Season of Struggle

Walsall manager Dean Keates has spoken to the local press and revealed that he has told his players to use their summer break to clear their minds following a season of struggle which has been both physically and mentally exhausting.
Walsall-born Keates believes that the season-long battle for survival, which saw the Saddlers finally secure a place in League One on the penultimate matchday of the season, was mentally tiring for everyone connected with the club, and he has now told his players to enjoy two weeks off before they then get to work on individual fitness regimes ahead of a return to training.

Dean, who was speaking via the Express & Star, said; "For us – what we have been through over the past few weeks – mentally it’s been draining. Physically it has been tiring, but it has been mentally as well. We have told the players to have two weeks off. I want them to shut down, enjoy themselves and have a complete rest.

"Then it’s a case of dripping feeding them back in. They have all been given individual programs. It goes from one individual session to two sessions a week. Then by the time they come back, it’ll be three individual sessions they are doing away from the place before they come in for pre-season."

Keates then went on to issue something of a warning to his squad, insisting that he will know straight away if some of them haven’t done their individual work over the summer break, he continued; "If they don’t, when they come in we’ll know straight away. Their weight will be up or their body mass will be up or they will be miles behind in the running.

"If you do that, you’re not helping yourself. Pre-season isn’t like it was when I played. Back then it got you fit. Now, you keep yourself ticking over. Pre-season is about topping yourself back up."

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