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Clarke: "It was a game where defenders were on top"

25 November 2019

Club News

Clarke: "It was a game where defenders were on top"

25 November 2019

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke felt Walsall and Stevenage put on fine defensive displays as the sides played out a 0-0 draw at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday.

After a lacklustre first half performance, the Saddlers improved in the second half and had a number of chances to win the game.


Danny Guthrie came closest as he struck the crossbar in injury time from a free-kick.


Clarke admitted Stevenage were the better team in the first half but concluded, after his side improved in the second half, that a draw was the right result.


“In reflection of the game, it’s probably a fair result,” said Clarke.


“It was a game where defenders were on top.

“I thought we were very poor first half, they slightly edged it.


“I made a couple changes to freshen things up a little bit because I don’t think we ever got going first half.


“Second half, barring a goalmouth scramble they had, they didn’t really cause us any problems. 


“We’ve had plenty of opportunities to score a goal.


“I’ve watched four or five Stevenage games and they’ve been in every game, their form of late has picked right up. 


“I think they’ll soon clear themselves away from the danger zone.


“With ourselves, I thought we needed a little bit more life in the second half and we got that. 


“A bit of quality in the final third but it was good defending from both teams to be honest.”


Walsall kept their 10th clean sheet of the season in all competitions against Stevenage and Clarke praised his back line for their performance.


“Our back four and goalkeeper defended very well and some of their lads had a good game defensively,” he commented.


“If we assess where we are after the games we’ve played, 10 clean sheets is testament to the hard working nature of the group. 


“But we have to be better at times with the tempo of our play and our passing.”


The Saddlers now turn their attention to the Emirates FA Cup as they host Oxford United in the Second Round this weekend.


Tickets are now on sale for this fixture. Call the Ticket Office on 01922 651 414/416 or visit our e-ticketing site to purchase yours.  

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