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James Clarke: Walsall need to have flexibility

James Clarke believes it’s vital Walsall can play in a number of different formations if they are to be successful in League Two.

James Clarke
James Clarke

The Saddlers, who host Villa in a friendly tomorrow, kick off the 2019/20 campaign at Northampton in 11 days time.

Throughout the course of pre-season, Darrell Clarke’s side have been been deployed in a number of different systems.

For James Clarke that has meant being part of a back three and a back four.

And the defender believes that flexibility will be important when the competitive action gets underway.

“Being flexible and being well drilled is key to being successful,” James Clarke said.

“Working with the gaffer that is what he is about.

“If something isn’t working, there is no point in banging your head against a brick wall and carrying on doing the same thing.

“It’s important to be able to change into different formations and to have players that can play in different positions.

“That is what he is about and I think we have got bundles of players who can do that.

“We’ve seen it with some of the younger lads and some of the older lads as well. It’s a big positive.”

Following the arrivals of defender Mat Sadler and midfielder Danny Guthrie, Clarke is also pleased with the blend of experience and youth Walsall have in their squad.

“We have got a nice balance,” the former Bristol Rovers man continued.

“I think at the start of pre-season we looked a bit light on the experience front.

“But we have brought a few in now and brought the average age up a bit.

“I think we have got a nice balance there.”

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