Even though he scored twice and gave a man-of-the-match performance in his side's 4-0 thumping of Mansfield at the weekend, Dean Keates claimed the real credit for Walsall's victory should go to a colleague who was only on the pitch for 45 minutes.

The diminutive midfielder gave a sparkling display at Bescot Stadium and bagged his fourth and fifth goals of the season to cement the Saddlers into top spot but he believes he could not have done it without Craig Pead.

The full back came on for Hector Sam at the interval and was, unusually, deployed in midfield, where he was able to cancel out most of Mansfield's best work and launch his own team's attacks.

His introduction neutralised the impact of the visitors' numerical supremacy in that area, stifled opposite number Jonathan D'Laryea and gave Walsall the platform to score four times in the second period.

"In the first half, their spare man was picking up lots of the ball and we needed that extra bit of urgency," explained Keates.

"Suddenly, it was Peady on the ball instead of their lad and the whole team looked more dangerous as a result.

"We played some great football at times and, of course, it was nice for me to get two goals."

Meanwhile, veteran Darren Wrack could hit the comeback trail this afternoon if he makes his first outing for a year since breaking his leg.

The midfielder suffered the injury against Yeovil last September, but he is close to recovery and may get an outing in the reserves match with Barnsley which starts at 2pm today. Another long-term casualty, Alex Nicholls, should also continue his rehabilitation.