New Walsall boss Darrell Clarke admits to huge rebuilding job
Darrell Clarke knows he's got a huge rebuilding job on his hands at Walsall – but the new boss admits he can't wait to get started.
The 41-year-old, who previously enjoyed huge success in charge of Bristol Rovers, was officially unveiled as the Saddlers new manager at a press conference held this morning.
Clarke has inherited a club that was relegated from League One last season. He also now has to sort out a squad that has 19 players out of contract next month.
But having previously undertaken rebuilds at Salisbury City and then Bristol Rovers, the former Mansfield midfielder is looking forward to the task.
"The rebuild starts from day one," Clarke said.
"Obviously last season was a very disappointing one with the club going down.
"But I feel really proud and positive about the future.
"I have had success rebuilding other football clubs and that is what I am going to do again.
"It's a lot of work but it can be done working with what we have got to work with.
"This is a club that hasn’t got many contracted players and is a club that has been relegated so the fresh impetus that comes with building a new squad is probably a good thing. It clears out a bit of the dead wood."
WATCH: Nathan Judah and Joe Masi discuss Darrell Clarke's first meeting with the media
Having guided Bristol Rovers to back-to-back promotions from the National League into League One, Clarke turned down a number of job offers after leaving the Memorial Stadium.
But he accepted the Walsall job because he got a good feeling for the club.
"I declined a few jobs," the boss continued.
"But to honest with you, I got a good feeling about the place and the people who work here.
"If you look through my career, I don’t go chasing money and what not.
"I just like the feel of it. The people I met, when I spoke to other clubs, it didn’t have this feel to it.
"Everybody I have met is very passionate about the club.
"Now we have got to get the passion back for the supporters by winning football matches and being a success on the pitch.
"We need the supporters on side. They are not onside at the minute and I understand that. Any club you go to that has been relegated, they are not onside.
"We need them back on side and we need to give them something to cheer about on the pitch. We have got to lift them and the only want to lift them is by doing it on the pitch."