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Walsall are ‘making progress’ says Darrell Clarke

Manager Darrell Clarke believes Walsall’s performances in their opening two games show the club has made a lot of progress in a short space of time.

Darrell Clarke
Darrell Clarke

The Saddlers kicked off the 2019/20 campaign with an opening day win at Northampton. Then on Saturday, despite dominating, they were held 1-1 by Forest Greendespite dominating possession.

Despite controlling that game for long periods, it wasSubstitutes James Hardy and Rory Holden whocombined for Walsall’s late equaliser. And Clarke believes their impressive cameos show he has built a squad with strength in depth.

“I think we’ve built a decent enough squad on a very reasonable budget,” the boss said. “There’s money in the pot for a rainy day as well.“I think if you look where we’ve come as a club in such a short space of time, I thinkit’s been really positive.

“The lads are gelling nicely but we want to keep getting better and the demands never go away from me. We have got a little bit of momentum now, we are unbeaten in two. Lets take that into the next game and see where we go.”

Forest Green took the lead on Saturday after Joseph Mills scored a penalty.

That spot-kick proved to be their only shot on target during the course of the 90 minutes.

But while he was pleased with his side’s performance, Clarke admitted his team does need to improve in the final third.

“We were a little bit disappointed with our final third play, we need to learn how to score that first goal and kill teams off,” he said. “But Forest Green are a team who made the play-offs last year and we edged them on most of the stats.

“It’s going to take a bit of time to iron things out and get things going exactly as I would like. People keep saying we have bought 15 players into the club,” the boss said.

“But we have released 20 professionals and six loans have gone back to their clubs. So we’ve got 15 players and three of them are loans.

“This is a massive rebuilding job and for me the signs in the first two games are really positive.”

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