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Clarke: 'The mentality of the players has been fantastic'

7 February 2020

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has praised his squad’s mentality and the way they have responded in training.

The Saddlers will be looking to end a three-match losing run when they travel to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

Clarke was frustrated after last week’s defeat to Crewe, particularly as he felt there his team should have been awarded a free-kick in the build to their equaliser, but he is pleased with where his players are mentally.

"The mentality of the players is fantastic,” said Clarke.

"If you're looking at question marks, Morecambe I got a bit of stick after the game but look at the reaction against Crewe in the first half.

"I have no problem with the mentality of the group, which has got stronger through the course of the season.

"It's something you always have to keep working on - I have no problem with the way the lads respond and give me everything.

"One or two things didn't go for us last week because it's a foul on Josh Gordon for the first goal, the referee or the assistant has to see that.

"Then you ride that bad start we had and you might go on and win the game.

"It's little things like that, fine lines are won in football games.

"Our fine lines last week was we were conceding sloppy goals from set pieces.”

Walsall take on Forest Green at the New Lawn this weekend.

The Saddlers have already faced Mark Cooper’s side twice this season, drawing 1-1 in the league and winning 6-0 in the Leasing.com Trophy.

Clarke feels Rovers have a talented squad and while he expects a tough game, he knows his team will be able to make life difficult for Rovers.

"They started the season really, really well but their form hasn't been great of late,” he commented.

"They have talented players and did a lot of business in the window and they'll certainly be fighting for that top seven spot.

"We know it'll be a tough challenge, but they're all tough.

"They're all beatable as well - there's not a lot of difference between the top and the bottom.

"Every team that plays Walsall knows they'll be given a good game, I don't think there's any team that's walked us this year.

"We've had a couple of really shocking performances - Cheltenham away, Salford at home - but within that the games have been very close.”


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