Dean Keates Pleased as Shuffled Saddlers Secure Victory Dean Keates Pleased as Shuffled Saddlers Secure Victory
Dean Keates Pleased as Shuffled Saddlers Secure Victory

Dean Keates Pleased as Shuffled Saddlers Secure Victory

Walsall manager Dean Keates has praised his side following their midweek Checkaterade Trophy - Northern Group E victory over Burton Albion, admitting he was proud of how his much-changed side as they stood firm under plenty of late pressure to secure victory in their opening group outing.
The manager, who made eight changes from the side that played out a goalless draw with Blackpool last weekend, was particularly happy with on-loan Wolverhampton Wanderers duo Connor Johnson and Connor Ronan, with the pair making their debuts after joining on Loan Window Deadline Day.

Dean, who has been named among the nominees for August's League One Manager of the Month, believes that the on-loan duo showed what they are all about after putting in a shift just a few days after arriving at the club.

The two Connors, who were not registered in time to play against Blackpool, featured in a young Saddlers side which controlled much of the action against a far more experienced side.

Speaking via the club's official website - - Walsall-born Keates said; "I can’t be more proud of them. I have said it in the last few weeks and I’ll say it again, whoever comes out of the changing room will put a shift in for the football club.

"They were here on Saturday and they came in on Monday but I have seen them play last season and in the Under-23s. They both looked steady. Ronan has had a taste of it last season and he doesn’t want to be sat in the Under-23s and not being involved. When you have had first-team football it is hard to go back to the Under-23s.

"He has come in and taken his opportunity well. As soon as he knew we were interested, he wanted to come here. Jack has been fantastic, Connor has come in and has done himself no harm.

"He had a loan spell with Telford last season and he wanted men’s football and he has come in tonight and done really well. There was a chance for the other lads in the game. Jordan Sangha hasn’t played many minutes since pre-season and I thought he was outstanding.

"We have got a squad - we don’t just work with 11 players. We will always work with the whole squad and we work on the patterns, so everyone knows what they are doing. It is all about being organised and the lads have taken it on board. I told them after the game they have done themselves no harm at all."
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