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Clarke rues missed chances

28 October 2019

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke was left to rue missed chances after the Saddlers fell to a frustrating 2-1 defeat at home to Mansfield Town on Saturday.

The hosts fell behind after 30 minutes through Andy Cook’s goal before Elijah Adebayo headed the Saddlers level.

Clarke’s men rallied but failed to convert a handful of clear cut chances and were punished through Alex MacDonald, much to Clarke's frustration.

“We’re missing very good chances and the other team is taking their chances, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“The centre-forwards are feeling the weight on their shoulders because they’re not taking the opportunities. 

“I’ve got to keep working with them, in body and mind, to try and give them confidence, that result, that goal, something that can kick us on. 

“Games are won on fine margins and at the minute, at the top end of the pitch, we’ve missed really good opportunities. 

“What happens then is players lack that confidence. 

“We have a great chance, one-on-one, miss it, they go down and in the next 30 seconds the ball is in the back of our net.”

Fortune isn’t quite favouring the Saddlers as they picked up another injury on Saturday after Josh Gordon was forced off in the first half.

Clarke was also missing a number of key players through injury and suspension which left the squad short but he was pleased to see four academy graduates in the starting XI and insists the club will continue to give young players opportunities.

“Walsall has always brought through the players and the positives for me are we have four players on the pitch that have come through the system," he commented.

“We have Kory Roberts, Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Alfie Bates and Liam Kinsella who have all come through the system. 

“We’ll continue to do that. 

“Some players need a bit of a break but it’s very difficult when you’ve got the injury list that we’ve got.

“We had three centre-halves missing, two from injury, one from suspension and we’ve picked up another one today (Gordon).

“Its early days to assess but I think it’s his calf. It sums us up a little bit at the minute, picking up injuries.”

The Saddlers travel to Swindon Town on Saturday for their next Sky Bet League Two match.

Tickets are available until 1pm on Friday. Call the ticket office on call 01922 651 414/416 or head to our e-ticketing website.


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