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Clarke: "I thought we deserved the win"

20 January 2020

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke felt his team deserved their victory against Crawley Town on Saturday.

Josh Gordon’s ninth goal of the season and a firecracker from Wes McDonald saw the Saddlers turn the game on its head.

Clarke hailed McDonald as a ‘matchwinner’ and was pleased to see his side bounce back from their defeat to Cheltenham Town to earn what he felt was a deserved victory.

“I thought first half we played particularly well,” said Clarke.

“We’ve had 35 minutes of the first half and they’ve had 10 minutes of the first half, they’ve scored, we’ve missed a couple of opportunities and the keeper’s made a save.

“The second half was a bit dull and we didn’t move the ball quick enough but we took the opportunity through Josh and we’re on the front foot.

“It’s a great ‘cross’ by Wes to win it. I was having a laugh with the lads saying ‘great cross Wes.’

“He can be a match winner for us, we know the quality he possesses and he’s done that on a regular basis for us.

“He’s dangerous when he’s got the ball at his feet so a real great strike.

"I thought we deserved the win. We edged the game but like most League Two games, there’s not a lot in it but we take massive positives, that’s 21 points in 11 games now which is top three form so we’ve got to keep building on that and keep working away.”

The Saddlers have had a number of injuries to contend with and there were four teenagers on the bench as a result.

One of those was new signing Jack Nolan who impressed when he made his Walsall debut off the bench.

Clarke stressed that the winger will still need time to develop but felt he made a positive start to his Saddlers career.

“Let’s not expect too much to early,” Clarke insisted.

“I think you can see the positives that he’ll bring. We’ve got to work on his fitness but he’s got a lovely left foot and lovely delivery but the most pleasing thing is when he did give the ball away, he reacted positively and own the ball back so it looks like we’ve got a good prospect on our hands. There’s a lot of work to do with him.”

The Saddlers now turn their attention to Saturday’s long trip to Carlisle United.


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