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Darrell Clarke looks ahead to Cheltenham challenge

20 November 2020

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke is looking forward to the challenge of facing two of Sky Bet League Two’s high flyers in Cheltenham Town tomorrow and Newport County on Tuesday.

The Saddlers will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Southend United last week when they travel to Gloucestershire tomorrow afternoon.

Clarke insists his team need to start being more ruthless in both penalty boxes and agreed that the next two matches against two strong teams will provide his team with a test.

"It certainly is (a big challenge),” Clarke said.

"I said it to my players this week, I get sick of people telling me we're a good team.

"We're only a good team if we start being ruthless in both boxes.

"Cheltenham and Newport have had that this season so far. The league is very equal, as it was last year, it's not all doom and gloom.

"Cheltenham and Newport have had more consistency so far but there's not a lot in it. I'm sure they'll be respecting us like we'll be respecting them.”

Clarke admitted his team need to improve in the final third and revealed the team have been focusing on improving in that area.

"We've missed a few penalties this season and good opportunities in key moments in games,” he commented.

"The final third play hasn't been good enough.

"But the stats all stack in favour, in the majority of our games, for entries in the final third, crosses in the box, opportunities.

"In a lot of our games this season we've been better than the opposition, which should lead to more goals.

"It's just the fact that we're missing the target, sometimes the cross isn't good enough, sometimes players hang on the ball too much and don't make good decisions.

"These are the things that we've been focusing on. There needs to be a freshness about it and maybe look at one or two different things that can give us that ruthlessness while still making sure the defensive side is strong.”

You can watch tomorrow’s game against Cheltenham Town live on iFollow by purchasing a match pass for £10 here.


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