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Clarke: Mental strength is important

5 September 2019

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke feels mental strength will be key for his team as they look to end a poor run of form.

The Saddlers haven’t won since the opening day of the season and will be looking to rectify that when they travel to Colchester United on Saturday.

Clarke admitted that a lack of confidence may have crept in but he is keen to see his side prove they are mentally strong as they look to quickly return to winning ways.

“We need results, there’s no papering over that,” Clarke admitted.

 “While appreciating that the lads are knuckling down and getting on with their business, mental strength is very important in this situations where a lack of confidence can come into the players’ minds and you need to beat that out of them straight away and focus on the next game.

“My coaching staff and I need to get the plan and preparation spot on and go and try and pick up three points on Saturday.”

Clarke is confident in both the squad and himself that they can turn results around.

He has a wide range of experience to draw back on and insists they’re not crying over spilt milk.

“The focus has to be on performances but you don’t get anywhere feeling sorry for yourselves.

“You pick your heads up, stick your chest out and you take your flack, take your stick and you rebuild. A lot of that focuses on the mind that they’re mentality prepared and not fearing failure.

“I’ve been a manager that’s lost one game in 39, I’ve been a manager that’s been on losing runs, I’ve got promotion, I took over eight games of a team that got relegated so I think those experiences put me in a good stead to manage how I feel fit to manage these situations.

“If you look at my staff as well, we’ve got ex-Premier League players in Marcus Stewart and Maik Taylor and it’s making sure that they keep the positivity around the place and building our siege mentality.”

Walsall take on Colchester this weekend at the Jobserve Community Stadium.

The U’s have made a steady start to the season but Clarke insists the Saddlers will go into the game without fear and feels there isn’t too much difference between all the sides in Sky Bet League Two

“I think the league’s very equal and I don’t think there’s a lot in it,” he commented.

“Colchester are another team who have started reasonably well but I certainly haven’t gone away losing sleep with any of the opposition.

“We respect the opposition like we always do and I’m sure they’ll respect us. It’s an opportunity for us to change the momentum swing.”


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