Dean Keates: "They Gave Absolutely Everything"

Walsall manager Dean Keates has spoken to the local press following Saturday afternoon's League One six-pointer with Bradford City, and praised his team for their 'outstanding' display, which saw them secure their first win in six league games.
The Saddlers, who had lost each of their previous five league outings, went into the match in desperate need of both a positive result and improved performance following a spell of dismal form, which had seen manager Keates come under increasing pressure.

Despite the match starting off in terrible fashion, as top-scorer Andy Cook received his marching orders with just six minutes on the clock, a Josh Gordon brace and a Joe Edwards effort saw the Saddlers home to victory, cancelling out Eoin Doyle and Anthony O'Connor's goals.

And Keates, who had described the match as the Saddlers' FA Cup Final heading into the contest, insisted that every single member of the team gave their all, and have something to build upon as they look to secure a spot in League One for at least another season.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Dean said; "This was probably our equivalent of the FA Cup final and I think the atmosphere and everything that happened probably showed that. The players were outstanding.

"To go down to 10 men after six minutes, it was always going to be hard but we got ourselves back into it. We spoke to them about it at half-time – this can galvanise our season and be a platform that we need to build on over the games that are left.

"There’s a lot been said about everybody, the lads have had a lot of stick but they gave absolutely everything. It’s a young group. They are eager, they are honest and their workrate that they give us from Monday to Friday is phenomenal.

"It’s been questioned over the last few weeks whether the players cared – that was evident today, they do care. We are only going to do this together so we need the fans to get fully behind them – hopefully, united together we can make sure we are in League One next season."
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