Dean Keates: "It Was a Strange Game"
Walsall manager Dean Keates has spoken to the press following Tuesday evening's Checkatrade Trophy - Northern Group E defeat to Port Vale, and admitted that the match was a strange one, as the Saddlers enjoyed plenty of the ball but failed to create many goal-scoring opportunities.
The manager, who made eight changes to his side following last weekend's Emirates FA Cup - First Round victory over Coventry City, had already secured a place in the last 32 and opted to use the match to give some of the squad's fringe players a taste of first-team football as he prepares for another hectic few weeks of action which will see the Saddlers play at least nine times between now and the end of the year.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Dean said; "It was a strange game. We had a lot of possession. We just didn’t do enough to create opportunities. Their first goal came from us and is something we need to look at and learn from. It was a very, very young team out there.

"We will give them feedback and help them make better decisions. It’s just a case of being a bit cuter. They have to learn and they have to learn quick.

"We had already qualified but we wanted to win the group. We were at home and we want to win football matches. But I had to get the players some minutes in the tank.

"We have got a hectic schedule coming up to Christmas - there are a lot if games coming thick and fast. We needed to get minutes into their legs."
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