'It's a tough one to take': Under-pressure Walsall boss reacts to 2-0 defeat against Blackpool

Walsall manager Dean Keates watches on from the sidelines with Terry McPhillips in the background
Walsall manager Dean Keates watches on from the sidelines with Terry McPhillips in the background
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Walsall manager Dean Keates says his side’s 2-0 defeat against Blackpool was “tough to take” and believed - on another day - it was a game the Saddlers could have won.

READ MORE: Match report from Blackpool's hard-earned 2-0 win against Walsall

The Seasiders claimed the three points to bolster their play-off hopes thanks to goals in either half from Chris Long and Harry Pritchard.

However Keates believes it could have been a different story had his side taken their chances, with Mark Howard saving a Matt Jarvis penalty and a number of other opportunities being squandered.

The defeat leaves Walsall in 17th place, just two points off the dropzone, having won just one of their last 11 league games.

“It’s a sloppy goal for us to concede early on although it is a great finish from the kid (Long) from a tight angle into the bottom corner,” Keates said.

“But we have to be higher up the pitch, we’re too deep for the initial kick.

“After that and the first 20 minutes, I thought we grew into the game and we had opportunities.

“We probably had the two clearest opportunities before they scored - Andy Cook with the header and Aramide Oteh has a good chance as well.

“But we get caught out for the second one late on when Dan Scarr is trying to keep hold of the ball while we’re chasing the game. Their lad has nipped in and scored when he should have cleared his lines.

“We could have possibly won this game so it’s a tough one to take.

“There’s the penalty, where the keeper has gone early and made a good save. It hits him and spins the other side of the goal, which is just where our luck is at the moment.

“There’s three absolutely blatant penalties as well which we haven’t been given. But it’s more than luck.