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Clarke keen to create a siege mentality

2 September 2019

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke wants to create a siege mentality within the squad following the disappointing defeat to Grimsby Town.

The Saddlers have lost back-to-back league games and will be keen to get back on track quickly with away trips to Coventry City in the Leasing.com Trophy and Colchester United in the league. 

Clarke is working to try and swing momentum back in Walsall’s favour and believes creating a siege mentality is the key to turning the club’s fortunes around.

“When I took the job, I knew it was going to be a massive job to turn the momentum of a club that got relegated,” he said.  

“Sometimes we can start like a house on fire but then it's a rebuild after that and that’s what we’re doing and we have to then create a siege mentality around the place because you lose fans when you lose, that’s obvious.

“What I will say is when we do turn it around, and we will turn it around, it’s even sweeter. I’m made of hard stuff; I’ve been there, seen it and done it. The group will be back to work and we’ll be working hard as always.

“Was there a lack of effort there? No. Was there a lack of nous? Yes. Did we take enough of our final third opportunities or take that shot on? No, and we were sloppy defensively.”

While Clarke felt his side were more attack minded against the Mariners, he admitted his team weren’t good enough in either of the penalty boxes and has called for his players to tidy up in both penalty areas.

“We’ve got to tidy up in both boxes and get the link right,” explained Clarke.

“We were more attack minded but not being clinical enough and we’ve let the back door down with their only four chances and one of them was a penalty.  

“I’ll protect my players as much as I can and they’ve got to stand up and be counted which I think they are to be honest.”

The goal that all but ended the game as a contest came via a penalty in the 81st minute.

It was a decision Clarke felt was harsh but the Walsall boss insists that is not an excuse as to why they lost the game.

“It looked a bit harsh but he’s given the penalty, I didn’t think we got a lot of decisions today but that’s not a reason why we lost the game,” Clarke admitted.

“We lost the game because we didn’t deal with Hanson well enough, we conceded a goal from a set piece, the first we’ve conceded in the league this season and we’ve given Hanson a free header in the box.”


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