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Clarke: 'The lads have a better understanding of playing together'

31 August 2020

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke feels his team have developed better connections with each other but insists there is still room for improvement.

The Saddlers drew 1-1 with League One side Burton Albion on Saturday as they stepped up their preparations for the new season that begins on Saturday 5th September against Championship club Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup.

Clarke was pleased with what he saw against the Brewers. While he admitted there are certain areas he feels his side need to improve, he believes they have developed good chemistry as a team.

“I think you can see from the first half the connections we’ve got going from the back end of last season,” Clarke said.

“I think the lads have a better understanding of playing together but there are still always going to be areas that we need to improve on.

“We’ve worked very hard on the counter attack and we didn’t quite look after that transition of the final ball, final shot at times because we pressed really well first half and had opportunities to punish them a little bit more so hopefully we’ll be able to tidy that up but in general I was pleased.

“It doesn’t look like we picked up any injuries which is important but we’ll start back training this week.”

The Saddlers have one final pre-season friendly away at Birmingham City on Tuesday afternoon before the competitive football kicks-off this coming weekend.

Clarke is keen to build on the work done so far and wants to ensure all of his players have enough minutes in their legs ahead of the campaign.

“More lads need more minutes,” Clarke admitted.

“Don’t read too much into pre-season, we’ve got a long spell and it’s only four weeks we’ve had pre-season for Sheffield Wednesday so I’d imagine in the first couple of months there’s going to be a lot of ironing out to do and players getting minutes.

“We haven’t got the biggest squad and we’ve got quite a few of development type players in that first team squad.

“It’s a tight nit group and they’re working hard for each other and like I say, I think some of the patterns and relationships being built from last season showed in that first half.”

Walsall’s game at Birmingham City will kick-off at 3pm on Tuesday afternoon. 


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