Keates: Saddlers didn’t turn up at Luton

Jorge Grant celebrates making it 2-0 to Luton
Jorge Grant celebrates making it 2-0 to Luton

Walsall boss Dean Keates felt his side ‘didn’t turn up’ as they suffered a first away league defeat of the season during a 2-0 reverse at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

The Saddlers chief saw goals from Glen Rea and Jorge Grant ended his side’s eight game unbeaten sequence was ended in comprehensive style, the visitors barely threatening James Shea’s goal.

I know they’ve said ‘well they didn’t turn up,’ but if that happens to us, I always like to give credit to the team that beats us.

Nathan Jones

Speaking afterwards, Keates said: “We didn’t turn up.

“We’re massively disappointed, that was nowhere near our standard.

“They’re low in there but when we have picked up a defeat we have had a reaction, which is something we’ll be speaking about.

“I’m not one for making excuses, I’ll take nothing away from Luton, they were the better team, but we’re disappointed.

“We’ve conceded from set-pieces, which are part and parcel of the game.

“We knew we were probably going to be put under pressure but we wanted to start brightly and play on the front foot, but we didn’t do that.

“It’s the first time we’ve failed to score away from home but it wasn’t

down to the front men, we struggled to make an impact all over the

pitch. As a group, we weren’t good enough.”

However, Luton chief Nathan Jones thought his side deserved more credit for making the visitors look so ordinary at times.

He said: “I thought we were pretty dominant in terms of first half especially.

“I know they’ve said ‘well they didn’t turn up,’ but if that happens to us, I always like to give credit to the team that beats us as they must have had something to do with it.

“We were excellent, we were on it, we defended well, moved the ball well and first half we didn’t have the clearest-cut chances we probably did have second half, but we were pretty dominant in terms of possession-wise.

“So I’m very happy with the win, I’m happy with any win, but especially one where it’s thoroughly deserved, and I thought on Saturday it was thoroughly deserved.

“Without being disrespectful to anyone, we were better than those on the day, we created more, we had more chances, had more possession, so I’m very pleased.”