Dean Keates Proud of 'Fearless' Saddlers×
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Dean Keates Proud of 'Fearless' Saddlers

3:00 pm Monday, 10 September 2018
Walsall manager Dean Keates has spoken to the press following his side's one-all draw with promotion favourites, Barnsley, and praised his side for being able to adapt to a switch in formation as the gaffer sought to contain their fellow in-form side.
The Walsall-born boss, who switched his side from his favoured 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 formation as he sought to boost the numbers when going on a counter attack, believes his players ability to adapt and play without fear helped to make all the training ground theory a matchday reality.

The manager, who has guided his side through an unbeaten start to the 2018/19 League One campaign, admitted that he and his coaches can only do so much, as it all comes down to desire.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Dean said; "You have to give the players credit, they are intelligent boys. We explain things to them and give them as much information as we can. But they still have to go out, believe in themselves and believe they can play.

"We analysed Barnsley and felt that system was the best way to go. When we broke in the first half, we went from a block of five to three or four bodies breaking forward.

"We looked good on the counter-attack. But that’s because the players play without fear. They are hungry, they have got the right desire and they play without fear."

The gaffer then went on to look at the result as a whole and admitted that this, along with the rest of the results he and his side have achieved, must not distract them from the goal of securing safety at the earliest opportunity.

40-year-old Keates also admitted that he is not concerned about what other managers and clubs think of his side, he continued; "Barnsley was a good point for us but it’s still early days. We're happy with the start we have made. It could be better, it could be a lot worse.

"We were favourites to go down, Barnsley were favourites to go up. And if I’m honest, I think we went toe-to-toe with them. But I’m not concerned what other teams in the division think about us. It’s about what we think about ourselves and what we think inside the four walls of that changing room.

"The lads are together, they all want to do well for each other and well for the football club. That is something we have got, what happens on the outside doesn’t concern us."


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