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Darrell Clarke can’t promise Andy Cook will stay at Walsall

Boss Darrell Clarke will talk to Andy Cook about his future, but said there are no guarantees the striker will be a Walsall player next season.

Andy Cook
Andy Cook

After spending almost his entire career in non-league, Cook joined the Saddlers last summer and went on to net 18 goals in all competitions.

And Clarke admits that form will have alerted clubs who are on the hunt for a goalscorer this summer.

“I will sit down and have a chat with Andy,” the boss said.

“But having interest in one of my players is nothing I haven’t seen before. That is football.

“When you score goals, you are going to have interest from other football clubs.

“What I will say is – and I’ve always worked like this – if players don’t want to be here, they will be gone.

“I will get the best price for them and out they go, simple as that.

“You want players who committed, I want everyone signing off the same page.

“I want players who are committed to the rebuild.

“I am an open manager, my door is always open. Chat to me, be honest with me.

“And I know at times players want to move on.

“Certainly you want to try and keep hold of your best players. But their hearts have got to be in it.”

Clarke, who left Bristol Rovers in December, was unveiled as Walsall’s new manager on Tuesday.

And he said his first task in his new role is to get the balance of his new squad right.

“It’s a good thing I have had my holidays because I’m not going to get a lot of days off over the summer,” Clarke continued.

“Now it’s about getting to work and getting the balance of the squad right.

“There is going to be a lot of planning prepping.

“It’s a big rebuild and there are going to be lots of players coming and going over the summer.

“In an ideal world, you’d love all the new players to be in for the first day of pre-season.

“The reality is that is sometimes a bit difficult. That’s the football world, agents and what not. Players holding on.

“It will be August when we start getting judged and we need to make sure the fans are excited for the August 3 kick-off.”

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