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Clarke delighted with never say die attitude

17 February 2020

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke was delighted with his side’s ‘never say die’ attitude after their dramatic victory against Northampton Town on Saturday.

The Saddlers found themselves 2-0 at half-time but goals from Josh Gordon and substitutes Danny Guthrie and Rory Holden saw Clarke’s side turn the game on its head.

The Walsall boss was frustrated by how his team started the game but praised the character they showed to stage a comeback.

“Credit to the boys for the second-half performance,” he said.

“Albeit I’m very frustrated in myself as well.

“I like to explain my decisions, I picked a team that was robust to match the conditions.

“I’m very disappointed to give away two sloppy goals which means you’re chasing.

“Credit to the lads that came on and changed the game.

“What I demand from my team is that character, that never say die attitude.

“They showed it in abundance there.

“The frustrating thing for me is I think we gave them a heads up on the two goals.

“We’ve worked on defending crosses in the box, we know Northampton are big, strong and good at what they do.

“They get good deliveries in and to be fair they could have got the third.

“Frustrated because I picked the wrong team, that’s what happens.

“It’s easy for people to say that and I get that.

“When you’re 2-0 down there’s no hiding place.

“But credit to the boys that came on and the lads that stayed on the pitch to turn it around.”

Clarke was pleased with the impact his substitutes made with Guthrie and Holden scoring their first goals for the club while Wes McDonald came on and set up the winner.

He also singled out Elijah Adebayo, who came back into the starting XI, for praise and felt he should have been named as the man of the match.  

“He’s a lovely lad, Eli, he has all the tools,” he commented.

“I want to say that on a consistent basis but there was only one man of the match out there for me and that was Eli.

“He did very, very well.

“Josh (Gordon) got the goal that got us back in it but I thought Eli deserved a goal today.

“He had a great game and did really well.

“I thought it would be an ideal day with the conditions - he was a good decision from me.

“Lavery has worked very hard in the last two games and I thought he needed a little bit of breather to freshen him up a bit.

“I thought Eli played the conditions great.”

The Saddlers are back at the Banks’s this weekend as they take on Port Vale on Saturday.

Call the Ticket Office on 01922 651 416 or visit our e-ticketing site to purchase tickets.


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