Relegation battle: teams in the mix

It’s looking a bit bleak after 4 straight defeats, and April has become the do or die, crucial point of our season with some more winnable games on paper:

Oxford (h)
Accrington (a)
Southend (h)
Wycombe (a)
Posh (h)
Shrews (a)

In our favour, there are other teams in the mix in absolute freefall, namely: Wycombe, Southend, Scunthorpe and Accrington. We play three of these soon, so it’s absolutely in our hands. Posh are also very erratic, so points are available. Indeed, with a bit of luck we might end the season on an undefeated run. :eyes:

Oxford are playing well and will escape, Bristol Rovers, Shrews, Plymouth and Gillingham will get the results they need, and Wimbledon are in good form also so will probably survive.

Which leaves Bradford, who look like they’re gone, so I think the final table will be:



Survival begins with a draw against Oxford next week.

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Wycombe have had a pretty tough run recently and have lost their last two with goals conceded in added time. Also missed a penalty yesterday at 1-1
They still have to play us, Southend, Rochdale and Wycombe

Accrington have a tough run in but have to play us, Rochdale and Wimbledon.

Southend still have to play us, Rochdale and Wimbledon


All to play for

That’s very wishful thinking that is.

The team have scrapped hard the last few weeks which means that we’ve added the ability to lose when playing well to the ability to lose when playing poorly. And in game we have found ways of missing when on top and ways of conceding when on top to supplement not creating at all and conceding at will when we are poor.

I just don’t think we have the nouse or wherewithal either on the pitch or in the dug-out to navigate any game let alone the big ones now approaching.

I hope I’m being a grumpy old pessimist but since the transfer window and the results in January/February, I have felt survival beyond us. Which is a massive shame because this relegation was hugely preventable, especially given the start we had to the season. We could actually afford Dean’s wheels to come off for a month or two. But not five.


The ability to lose when playing well is the killer for me. Last week was the best example. I felt we were down after last week.The result yesterday confirms that view. I still have hope but that is all.

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I think we can survive, and would survive if any order can be called upon. The three games after Oxford are key. Any sort of mess up and we’re down.


Yep, agree with that PT

We seem to have adapted to successfully secure all types of defeat!

Look at Barnsley who were frankly a big disappointment but admittedly came up against a very good Walsall team that day yet they almost seemed to know that they’d get a chance and then also knew they’d put it away…

The difference in approach is key (well covered in other theads etc) but bloody hell, confidence is the killer and our lads simply seem to have lost any of it in respect of closing games out and avoiding defeats…


Out of interest, how many points return do you think we need counting Oxford too, for it not to be considered a mess up? When it comes to relegation scraps I usually batch games together and say we need x amount of points from those but with the league being so tight is it more of a play it on a game by game basis?

I’d say it probably is, and that requires even better management as you need to know how to change it game by game, or even in game quite drastically and the tactics might vary considerably. I’m with you, I think we’ll stay up but when I look at it more and more I do worry.

Depends how desperately bad the other 4 in the mix are. Wycombe are absolute gash, and the others not much better. 2 wins and a draw might just be enough, but that’s assuming draws against Oxford, Posh and potentially the Shrews. So that’s 10 points for 2 wins and 4 draws.

To be honest, if we can’t profit from Wycombe, Accrington and Southend then we deserve relegation. It’s like a mini playoff tourney down there.


All 4 mentioned have lost 5 out of the last 6, with some picking a single draw, others 1 win. Some tricky games in there, but that’s still what we’re up against.

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Need to hope Southend and Scunthorpe lose majority of their games, lower points total the better etc.

Of course problem is Wimbledon and Rochdale are picking up so it’s not like the three below are set in stone to get relegated, only Bradford are done.

To stay up think Walsall are going to have to finish above two of the teams currently above them.

Cannot lose at Wycombe or Accy really. They will be targeting Walsall at home as the three points to get them pretty much on 50 points and get us out of the survival equation.

4 points from those two and then a home win and a draw and that’s 50 points. Can’t really see any other realistic formula tbh.

I wouldn’t fancy this team to have the mental ability to go to Sloppies on the final day and grind out a 1-0 win if that is what is required.

Edit: One thing I would say the performances v Rochdale, Coventry and WImbledon were horrendous. Team was dead on their feet and then out of nowhere 7 points out of 9 turned up.

Won a huge 6 pointer v Bradford (team would now be bottom of the league if that had been lost) and then picked up 4 points v mid table teams. So there is still hope, 7 points from next 5 games and I’m sure it would at least go to the final day.

Unless of course that was a the good run for end of the season and the team will be meekly relegated from this point.


Got to get rid of keates end off not a clue


And who do we bring in ?
Come on I am interested.

Said weeks ago we will go down and sadly i still stick by that we gift goals far too easily to expect anything else.Its hardly going to change dramatically in 6 games when its been like it all season.Unfortunately i think a change of management is also needed in the summer love Dean as a player and Walsall lad but it just aint working for him here.

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If we go down Darrell Clarke for me.

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You can play the “who should we get” game all day long, but personally I would start the process by looking at the manager we’ve got now and critique whether or not we should keep him.
Recruitment: poor.
Tactical ability: generally poor, but even when we he gets it right it rarely gets translated into points gained.
Motivational skills; none. Only since O’Connor arrived have we seen some.
Overall results record: dismal, much worse than many a previous manager that has been sacked.
Ability to set up a team that is “better than the sum of its parts”: Simply a must have quality for anyone managing us, and one that three managers he played under had in spades, I would say Keates has shown some ability there, but that got lost by what appears to be his own lack of self-confidence and belief. He is undoubtedly a reactive rather than proactive manager, so not good enough.

I reluctantly struggle to see how anyone can build a case for moving forward with our current manager, other than residual goodwill or sticking a wet finger in the air and detecting a far away wind of change that will sweep away all his failings and replace them with attributes.



The delightful little girl in the guide dogs for the blind advert…she could at least teach one or two of our players how to play football…
“I’m having a shot dad” most deffo a better effort than most of our lot can manage.

I believe we will have enough to stop up and get the results we need … what I don’t believe is that Keates has the know how or self confidence in himself to get the best out of a Walsall team at league 1 level . I have always liked to hear what our managers say before and after a match to the media and fans… Not anymore Deano is so predictable and boring to be honest how can he get a team to respect and play for him . NOT THE MAN TO TAKE US FORWARD . Though I really hoped he would be when appointed. UTS

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Watching the game against Barnsley last week, I was incensed by some of the stuff I was hearing.

Lee Hendrie who was co-commentating, mentioned a couple of times our 52 point target. He stated at one point that Keates had told him that despite the good start, in the dressing room, he kept reminding them that 52 points was the target for the season.

That in itself is reason enough to conclude that he is not the right manager.