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Clarke: "I demanded more and I got the response you want as a manager"

24 February 2020

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke felt his side played some ‘outstanding’ football in the second half but admitted he wasn’t happy with a point.

The Saddlers found themselves 2-1 down at half time after Leon Legge and Scott Burgess scored either side of Elijah Adebayo’s strike.

Clarke was pleased with how his team responded in the second but wanted more from his side in the first half and admitted he is disappointed to only pick up a point.

“I’m not happy,” he said.

“In the first-half for me, there’s not a lot in the game.

“Defensively we were very poor and I wasn’t happy.

“Second-half I thought we played some outstanding football.

“You won’t get too many pats on the back for a home draw from me.

“I thought we weren’t aggressive enough in the first half and paid them too much respect - switched off at a set piece again and they score a deflection, where we can do better.

“All of a sudden you’re chasing a game again at home and then the response is emphatic and we were really unlucky not to win the game in the end.

“But you can’t be sloppy like that.

“I think we’re moving in the right direction, don’t get me wrong.

“But you won’t see me too happy with a home point, certainly with the way we defended in the first-half.

“It was probably a good game to watch for the neutral. Port Vale are a good team, obviously that’s why they’re up there at the minute.

“For me, I wanted more and to be on the front foot early doors and it took us too long to get going - not aggressive enough.

“That’s with and without the ball first-half, by the way.

“Not just being better than your man, but aggressive with the ball.

“In the second-half I demanded more and I got the response you want as a manager.

“We’ll take a point.”

The Saddlers dominated the majority of the second half and were unlucky not to find a winner after Adebayo was denied by a brilliant recovery save by Scott Brown.

The striker stood out again, as did Rory Holden in the no.10 role and Clarke was full of praise for the pair.

“Holden, for me, for the last four months has been absolutely outstanding,” Clarke commented.

“I’m not having the last two games; he’s been outstanding on a consistent basis for a while now.

“With Adebayo, we’ve chatted to him and we’re working on him.

“He’s still a young boy that’s I don’t think has even got 40 games under his belt.

“He’s growing and he’s a confidence player.

“With somebody like that, putting an arm around him is a difficult balance.

“I touched on it in the week and just said to him to get in the zone, find what gets you ticking ready for kick-off.

“I think that’s what he’s done in the last two performances which is pleasing to see.”

The Saddlers now turn their attentions to Saturday’s trip to Stevenage. Tickets will be on sale until midday on Friday.

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


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