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Clarke eyeing a 'professional' performance

19 November 2019

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has called on his team to put in a ‘professional performance’ when they take on Darlington tomorrow in an FA Cup First Round replay.

The Saddlers will be aiming to reach the Second Round of the competition and set up a tie at home to Oxford United.

Clarke admits there is an expectation on his team as the higher placed club but is keen to see his side get the job done in front of the BT Sport cameras.

"We go there, the TV cameras are there and everyone wants the underdog to win,” said Clarke.

"For me, it's about going up there, doing a job professionally and try to get ourselves in the second round.

"I've had both ends of the spectrum in the FA Cup where I've been the underdog and the ones that are expected to win.

"I tell you, both of them are not easy things to do, but it's always hard when everyone is willing Darlington to go through.

"If we're professional and approach the game as we have done in the last couple of games then I'm sure we'll do alright.

"Yes we're expected to win because we have better players, because they're playing higher up the pyramid, but it counts for nothing.

"If they raise their game 10 or 15 per cent and we dip below that, that's why you see non-league teams beat Premier League teams.

"That focus has got to be on winning the football game, don't worry about the occasion.”

The Walsall boss sees all cup matches as crucial ones given the prize money that is involved.

"It is big,” he commented.

“When you bring in a pound and spend a pound, that's what we do.

"Even progressing in the EFL Trophy is big.

"People belittle that competition and I get that with the Premier League teams in it, but for financial rewards it's a big competition for us.

"And the FA Cup is a big competition for us.

"The more money you can gain through revenue the more I can buy myself some new toys.”

Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s game to supporters with any booking history with the club.

Call the Ticket Office on 01922 651 414/416 to purchase yours.


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