Darrell Clarke gives Tranmere reaction and Ferrier update

Manager Darrell Clarke was pleased with his side's defensive display but admitted Walsall must do more in the final third after they ended their pre-season campaign with a 0-0 draw at Tranmere.

Morgan Ferrier
Morgan Ferrier

At a rain-soaked Prenton Park, both teams struggled to create clear goalscoring opportunities just seven days before the competitive action gets underway.

Walsall created the best chance when Morgan Ferrier's knock-down fell for Josh Gordon just six-yards out.

But despite being centrally placed, the former Leicester man fired wide when he really should have scored.

For Tranmere, Stefan Payne beat the offside trap before seeing a shot saved by Liam Roberts.

Overall, though, the game was a stalemate with nothing to separate the sides.

"It was a good defensive performance," Clarke said.

"I just thought the game lacked that quality in the final third to win it so I'm a bit disappointed with that.

"We were a little panicky in possession which I don't like to see.

"In the second-half Danny (Guthrie) comes on, (Stuart) Sinclair comes on and we started slowing things down. We then looked a lot more comfortable on the ball.

"But defensively we were very strong. We had the best chance of the game with Josh (Gordon), you have got to put that away.

"But we have got to work one or two more better opportunities. We have got to be a bit more clinical.

"Sometimes it takes a bit of composure at the back to find that first simple pass. But at the top of end of the pitch that little bit of magic was missing."

The match in Birkenhead was Ferrier's first start in pre-season with the striker having previously expressed a desire to leave.

But Clarke said the forward is now part of his plans.

"Morgan did well, he is part of the group.

"We have had a good chat, I had a good sit down with him.

"Morgan’s fitness levels and the way he has been applying himself has been spot on.

"I will keep giving him a slap now and again because that is Morgan Ferrier. I haven’t got a problem with that. But he is buying into what we want here."

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