We miss Dean Keates.
Having read Julian’s excellent statistical piece yesterday, I felt inspired to crunch the numbers myself, because I suspected the difference the little skipper makes is massive. It was palpable when he returned to the side, having missed our grim start to the season through injury. All of a sudden we looked coherent again, and kicked on from a pleasing win over Southport to enjoy a run of seven home wins on the trot. Keates played in all but the last one, which was a victory over lower division opposition achieved with a rotated side.
The impetus of that run has just about kept our hopes of sneaking into a play-off alive, and although our form hasn’t been as good since he got injured again, we’re certainly playing better than we did at the start of the season. His spell in the side at least got a bit of momentum rolling.
Since he disappeared from the side results and performances have stuttered though, merely bringing into sharp focus the difference his presence in the side has made. A look at the figures certainly backs this up.
We won seventy percent of the games Keates played in this season, but just 27% of the games in which he was absent! Naturally, this means the pattern is reversed in terms of our loss percentage: we’ve lost one in five games when he played but have been beaten in half the games he’s missed!
The bounce our results have experience after his stint in the side is also quantifiable: since he dropped out of the side after the Forest Green game we’ve won ten per cent more matches than we did before his first appearance of the season and lost ten per cent fewer.
The post-Keates figures still don’t come anywhere near what they were when he was in the side though. If we want to get a push into the play-offs going, clearly we need Dean Keates back, and soon!