Dean Keates paid the ultimate price for Walsall’s slump in form yesterday, dismissed as manager with just five matches remaining.
The former Wrexham boss has seen his side plummet into the bottom four after a bright start to the season, with relegation now a real possibility. They lost 3-1 at home to Oxford yesterday, although the dying moments saw the game turned on its head.
The Saddlers trailed 2-1 when Morgan Ferrier had an effort cleared off the line. A point wouldn’t have taken them any higher in the league, but it might have saved Keates’ job.
Instead, Oxford went up the other end and scored, ending his tenure as manager.
The former Peterborough man put his faith in non-league pair Andy Cook and Morgan Ferrier amongst others this season, but hasn’t been able to guarantee their safety. Five points separate them and 14th placed Shrewsbury, but games are running out quick.
The decision seems to be widely supported by the fans on Twitter, who have seen little to convince them he had the skills to get them back up the table.
Here’s their latest reaction on social media.
Right decision for me. Nice guy, decent player, awful manager. He’d make a great coach but tactically he’s regularly been found wanting. Problem is, I don’t think O’Connor is the right man either but you know he’ll get the job until the end of the season, at least.
— Spirit of Vimes (@__Vimes__) April 6, 2019
So unfortunate but for the best. Wish you well for the future Deano. I honestly believe you was the right man for the job at the wrong time uts ?⚪️
— chris whinyates (@whinyates88) April 6, 2019
Too late. We are down. Bonser out.
— Rob Harvey ??????? (@TheRobHarvey_) April 6, 2019
— Anthony Gerrard (@antgerrard86) April 6, 2019
It's sad when a coach is fired, even more when he has an identity with the club, more was needed to change, we hope they get it right and give them time to react!
— Walsall Brasil (@WalsallBrasil) April 6, 2019
Bit late but was a bit of a poor appointment in first place, the board need to take a good look in the mirror and think what they are doing to this club you cannot compete and be successful on a peanuts budget.
— Mark (@mark240868) April 6, 2019
Sadly the correct decision. I’ll be there next season come what may, but many of us feel desperately disappointed at how the second half of the season has gone. Good luck with the final five. UTS
— Grant Williams (@GWilliamsLLM) April 6, 2019
The club I love, isn’t well run, isn’t up for sale, isn’t aiming for the championship, it’s a bloody joke, which is dying a slow & tortious death, with Bonser & his yes men at the helm.
£8,000 a week Bonser charges us to play in our own stadium. Get out of our club!
— Badger Boy (@BlazingSaddleDS) April 6, 2019