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Darrell Clarke: Better to come for Walsall

By Matt Maher | Walsall FC | Published:

Darrell Clarke has promised better nights are to come for Walsall after watching his team draw a blank for the second match running.

Darrell Clarke

Last night’s 0-0 draw with Newport at the Banks’s Stadium followed a 1-0 defeat at Crewe last weekend.

And though Clarke took encouragement from his team’s second clean sheet of the League Two campaign, he admitted they need to be far better in the final third.

The Saddlers have scored just twice in their first four league matches and the boss thanked supporters for the manner in which they have stuck by his new-look team.

Walsall's starting line-up included seven summer signings and Clarke said: “I’m really pleased with the way supporters have got behind us. I think they know their club is in a massive transition and we hope there are going to be a lot better nights than this ahead.

“It is up to us to entertain. I have always said that. But the fans are sticking right behind the lads. They are not daft, they can see what we are trying to do.

“You have to get the balance right between defending and attacking. I certainly don’t think we look a defensive team but you have to get the balance of linking the play better.”

James Hardy and Dan Scarr went closest to finding the net for the Saddlers on a night when chances were at a premium for both teams.

Clarke continued: “We’ve got to be a lot more dangerous but that will come. It’s early days yet.

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“I think, if I’m being honest, we deserve to be a couple of points better off than we are after four league games.

“It was a very, very scruffy, tight game and I think we didn’t work the ball well enough in areas to be able to give our strikers enough opportunities – but out strikers have got to do better as well.”

“The positive for me was that defensively as a team – I thought my back three, back five were magnificent in defending against a very dangerous Newport team.

“They have scored a lot of goals already this season and I thought we limited them to one set-piece opportunity. Other than that, we’ve defended very, very strongly.

“It’s something that we looked at from last season where the club was shipping something like two goals every game which gives you no chance to win football games.

“So four games in the league, two goals conceded, one a penalty, an individual mistake – we can take the positives from that but we know as a team we have to do a lot more offensively.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
@mjmarr_star

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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