My Birmingham Mail Column Weds Apr 25th 2018-Part 2
Over the past few months a lot of focus has been on the relegation problems faced by the Baggies and Blues as well as Villa’s hopes of winning promotion to the Premier League. However while all that has been taking the attention Walsall have been clipping into relegation trouble in League One and are in serious danger of dropping out into League Two.
With 3 games to go they, along with Oldham, are on 48 points - just one point above the trapdoor. Since the turn of the year they have lost 11 from 19 games winning just 5 and it’s got progressively worse with 8 defeats and just 2 wins from their last twelve games. That dismal run has seen them quietly drop from mid-table into the relegation mix.
The teams occupying the 4 relegation spots are Bury who are bottom and already relegated. The come MK Dons on 42, Northampton 46 and Rochdale 47. How tight is that? This Saturday they take on Northampton at Bescot in a must win game. Northampton will have a massive say in the outcome because they face Oldham at home on the last day of the season.
Walsall are a smashing club with some amazing people working at Bescot but without the finance and resource of a lot of other clubs in League One. As with West Brom it looks from the outside like they waited too long to make a change of manager-while hoping things would change.
Dean Keates only taking over on March 16th by then it looked like losing had become a habit for the players. I am told by various managers that it can be difficult to change that mentality overnight especially if the quality of the squad is not good enough both in terms of ability and also attitude.
Good luck to Dean Keates in his battle to avoid the drop.