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New boss Darrell Clarke promises to push Walsall's players to the limit in pre-season

Darrell Clarke claims Walsall’s players are being ‘pushed to the limit’ over the opening days of pre-season.

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke
Walsall boss Darrell Clarke

The Saddlers returned to Essington at the start of the week to begin preparations for the upcoming League Two campaign, with new boss Clarke meeting players for the first time.

Clarke expects to learn plenty about his squad during sessions which will focus on both fitness work and technical skills.

He explained: “There will be a lot of fitness work. I like my team to be fit and we are pushing the limits on that. But there will be a lot ball work too.

“You would probably call it a proper old school/new school pre-season where we get a bit of both into them.

“They will get their rest and recovery in too. We will be working with a smaller squad this season and we have to be careful with injuries.

“We have to get the balance right. We want it competitive in train- ing.

“You find a lot out when you are pushing players to the limit.

“It will be interesting to get to know these players a bit more.”

The variety in sessions was demonstrated by the squad yesterday being given an introductory yoga lesson by Cannock-based instructors Eden Hot Yoga.

Clarke is keen to establish a winning culture at the Banks’s and believes the early part of pre-season can be key in setting the right tone.

The 41-year-old outlined what he expects from his players during a team meeting on Monday. He is keen to see the right attitude both on and off the pitch.

“This is our training ground, keep it tidy, be respectful to the staff.

“Players are known to moan and I hate to see energy-sappers. We like it to be bubbly.

“Most of all we want a winning mentality around the place. To this point the attitude has been spot on.”

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