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Clarke focused on Darlington challenge

7 November 2019

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke insists his team are fully focused on the job at hand as the prepare to take on National League North side Darlington in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

The Saddlers will be looking to end their six match losing run at the Banks’s Stadium and progress to the second round of the competition.

Darlington are two divisions below the Saddlers but Clarke is not taking them lightly.

“We’ll give Darlington the respect that they deserve,” insists Clarke.

“Darlington are on a good run and they’ll raise their game by 10-15% so if we come off it 10-15% then we’ll come unstuck.

“If we play anywhere like the performance against Swindon I think we’ll win the game.”

“It doesn’t change though; there are two goals, 11 men vs 11 men so it’s a game of football so we’ve got make sure we’re not on the end of a cup upset which I’ve experienced before so it’s about doing our jobs right and focusing on ourselves.

“It’s going to be edgy and a bit nervous I imagine, certainly with the fans not being happy we’ve got to try and put on a performance and try and get to the next round.”

Clarke is aware of where the Saddlers need to improve as they look to end their losing run.

He felt the performance at Swindon merited a better result but feels the players are putting in the yards on the pitch and working hard to improve.

“The players are covering the distance, they’re making their sprinting games and winning a lot of first contacts in games so there is no problem with the effort, desire and commitment of the players that we analyse on a regular basis but the fact of the matter is we’ve got to get better in both boxes,” Clarke said.

“In the last six games, we’ve conceded a ridiculous amount of individual errors, blatant errors in my opinion, which you have to cut out. Any manager will tell you exactly the same that if you’re doing that, then your back is against the wall.

“In the final third we have to be clinical and take more of our opportunities but you can’t put your head in the sand, we have to keep working hard.”

Tickets are still available for Saturday’s cup tie. Call the ticket office on 01922 651 414/416 or by visiting our  e-ticketing site to purchase.

Tickets are priced £12 Adults, £6 Concessions and £15 for a family ticket.

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