Darrell Clarke embracing the pressure at Walsall
Darrell Clarke will embrace the challenge of getting Walsall back to the third tier as pressure is what he missed most during his managerial break.
Clarke is the man looking to reinvigorate the Saddlers in League Two, having previously won promotion from the division with Bristol Rovers.
He left Rovers in December and can’t wait to be back in the thick of it all as boss at the Banks’s Stadium.
“There is always pressure. Pressure as a football manager is always around the corner,” said Clarke. “I think it’s going to be tough.
"The job is going to be tough, I know that, and you’re always under pressure as a manager to win football games.
"But in a sick sort of way that is what I have missed the most – the pressure. Once you are in that dugout, you want to be feeling the pressure.
"It’s a rebuild job. Can we hit the ground running? That is what we are hoping to do.
“Realistically, it can take a bit of time to build, as you can see that at my previous clubs. But we’ll see how we go.”
But while he missed the pressure, Clarke – who also won promotion from Conference South as Salisbury chief – used his break from the dugout effectively.
He visited some fellow managers to pick up a few tips, so he is coming into Walsall with fresh ideas.
“I’ve had a high intensity last eight years as a manager and some high-pressure jobs for different reasons,” added Clarke.
“Bristol Rovers is a superb football club with a great fan base, but building that was very challenging and very tiring.
“I have really enjoyed the break. I have been around a few clubs and spoken to a few managers.
“I went to see Kenny Jackett at Portsmouth for example. I have studied the game.
“You never stop learning as a manager. I have spoken to a lot of people. I have been busy.”
Clarke has wielded the axe player-wise already at Walsall as only two out-of-contract players were offered new deals in Liam Kinsella and Nicky Devlin.
Callum Cockerill-Mollett then had a year extension option in his contract exercised by the club.
Clarke brought in midfielder Stuart Sinclair, who he had at Salisbury and Rovers, in as his first signing of the summer on Tuesday. The length of the deal is undisclosed.