Alfie Bates Determined to Work His Way Back into the First-Team

Walsall midfielder Alfie Bates has spoken ahead of this weekend's League Two clash with Exeter City and admitted he is hoping his performances for Brian Dutton's development side can help him earn a recall to the first-team.
Alfie, a stand out performer in the club's academy who has attracted the attention of several top-flight teams, has made twenty-one first-team appearances so far this season but has not seen action since the 3-1 defeat to Cheltenham Town on 11th January.

Undaunted by his lack of football, the Coventry-born midfielder has entered strong displays in his last two appearances in the Central League, helping the Saddlers' second string to earn victories over Rotherham United and Grimsby Town.

Bates admitted he was pleased with his and the team’s performance against Grimsby in midweek and is keen to impress both Darrell Clarke and Brian Dutton to work his way back into the first-team.

Speaking via the club's official website, Alfie said; "I want to get back in but it’s the manager’s choice. I’ve just got to keep working hard, playing well, take it game by game and see what happens.

"I thought I did OK but there’s a lot of players around me who did well as well. The senior players did well and the young players stepped up to the plate and played really well too."

Development coach Dutton named a mixture of youth and experience for the clash with the Mariners, and, despite being just 18-years-old, Bates believes he has a responsibility to guide some of the younger players.

Alfie added; "I feel like I’ve got to step up and help the younger players out in any way I can. I like to speak to the younger players and make sure they’re doing the right jobs and make sure we get the win as we did."
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