Dean Keates Determined to Win Over the Doubters

Walsall manager Dean Keates has spoken ahead of this afternoon's crucial League One clash with Coventry City, and insisted that he understands the fans' frustration but has vowed to regain their support as he looks to get the season back on track with a win at the Ricoh Arena.
Walsall-born Keates has seen his side win just one of their last twelve league games and will need to get them back to winning ways soon as the number of games continues to shorten with the Saddlers sitting just two points above the drop zone heading into the clash with the Sky Blues.

Keates, who is currently in the first year of a three-year contract with the club, believes that he and his coaching staff have around 80% of fans still behind them, but is determined to regain the trust of the others as he looks to take the club forward in the future.

Dean, who was speaking via the Express & Star, said; "I understand the frustrations of the fans completely. And I understand working class people. I am one of them. I’m from a family of that.

"You to go work Monday to Friday, it’s hard and you spend your money on season tickets or tickets on the day to watch football. People deserve to enjoy that. And if you don’t enjoy it, it becomes an investment that isn’t a wise investment.

"I fully understand where the moans and groans are coming from. Out of 100 per cent, I think 80 per cent are still behind me and I really appreciate that. But as a coaching staff we want to have the entire 100 per cent behind us and enjoying themselves, like they were at the start of the season.

"That is how you effect things properly, that is how you take a club forward."

40-year-old Keates, who won three promotions as a Walsall player, has a host of friends and family members who support the Saddlers. But he says he can handle the criticism that has come his way.

Keates continued; "When I came back I knew it would affect my family – they live in the area they work in the area. They are all surrounded by fans. It’s something I have spoken to them about because it was always a possibility things would be said. It is what it is.

"Football fans go to games and if they are not happy they going to voice their opinion. But my friends are my friends. There is a couple of them that are season ticket holders but we don’t discuss what happens at work."
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