Dean Keates Keen to Build Upon 'Deserved' Win Over Bristol Rovers

Walsall manager Dean Keates has spoken to the press ahead of this evening's Checkatrade Trophy clash with Middlesbrough's second-string, and looked back at last weekend's League One victory over Bristol Rovers, admitting that the result was a massive one.
Keates, who has seen his side suffer just two league defeats so far this season, believes that the Saddlers deserved the win and showed just how much they wanted the points by standing firm and remaining patient before bagging the winning goal in the closing stages of second-half injury time.

With the Saddlers set to be without a league game until October 20th, the Walsall-born boss believes that the side should use the clash with Boro as a springboard for the future clash with Luton Town, calling upon his team to secure the win.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Dean said; "The win at Bristol Rovers was massive for us. 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."

The manager went on to confirm that he will be using the opportunity to rotate his side with several of the fringe players set to feature as they have a chance to earn a place in the regular starting line-up.

Dean continued; "We are approaching it in the same way we approach any game – we want to go out there and win the football match. 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."
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