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Darrell Clarke: Returning Walsall players can ease concerns

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Manager Darrell Clarke believes getting some of his players back to full fitness will help with Walsall's lack of cutting edge.

Darrell Clarke

The Saddlers have scored just once in their last six outings with that barren run meaning they currently sit 21st in the League Two table.

Over the past few weeks, though, both midfielder Danny Guthrie and winger Rory Holden have spent time on the treatment table.

Striker Rory Gaffney has also been with the squad for less than a fortnight after his move from Salford City.

And Clarke believes Walsall will be a better side when those players are up to full speed.

"Danny (Guthrie) is on his way back, he is one of our more creative players," the boss said.

"He has played 60 minutes against Coventry and he got another 60 at Colchester.

"But we had to take him off in both games because of his lack of minutes following his hamstring injury. He will be getting fitter all the while.

"Rory Gaffney has just come in as well. Rory Holden has just come back from injury. We’ve got a few boys who have done well to get through three games last week.

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"The old chestnut, though, is that we have got to work on our forward play. We need to believe in ourselves a bit more and be a bit braver on the ball."

Meanwhile, assistant boss Marcus Stewart believes taking up more dangerous positions is key to Josh Gordon and Elijah Adebayo getting amongst the goals.

While both strikers have impressed with their all-round game, neither have got off the mark yet this season.

"Their work rate off the ball on the defensive side of the game has been great," Stewart said.

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"We just need to improve what I call football intelligence. It’s about figuring out how you get space in that final third.

"But they are young lads. Josh is 24, Elijah is a bit younger and they both work their socks off for the team.

"When we haven’t got the ball, they tend to get it right where they need to stand. They just need to improve that positioning when we have got the ball.

"That isn’t going to come in two months. It’s going to be a long process, but the sooner a striker gets a goal it relieves that bit of pressure.

"When you are not winning as a team, and the games are 0-0 or 1-0 to the other team, and you are not scoring – the spotlight is firmly on you.

"It’s not too bad if you are still winning 1-0 or 2-0 and others are scoring around you, but that’s not the case at the moment.

"The spotlight is on them but I think they are strong enough lads to deal with that."

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

West Bromwich Albion reporter.

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