Darrell Clarke: Walsall defeat feels like 'Groundhog Day'

By Liam Keen | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke has said his side’s fifth loss in a row feels like ‘groundhog day’ after the Saddlers spurned several chances in front of goal.

Darrell Clarke.

In what was an improved performance his side created several opportunities in both halves and could have walked away with the win over Mansfield but poor finishing again let them down as they fell to a 2-1 defeat.

Rory Gaffney in particular had two one-on-one chances and failed to score - with the second one leading to a Mansfield counter-attack from which they scored the winning goal.

And after the game Clarke was left frustrated at his side not finishing off their visitors.

“I think it’s Groundhog Day for a lot of our games this season,” he said.

“That’s why it’s going to be a long season.

“Let’s make no bones about it, we are where we are.

“Where we deserve to be, because of both boxes.

“We’re missing very good chances, the other team is taking their chances, it’s as simple as that.


“Some players need a bit of a break but it’s very difficult when you’ve got the injury list that we’ve got at the minute.

“Picked up another one today.

“Three centre-halves missing today, two from injury, one from suspension.

“Centre forwards I think are feeling the weight on their shoulders because they’re not taking the opportunities.


“I’ve got to keep working with them, in body and mind.

“Try and give them that confidence, that result, that win, that goal.

“Something that can kick us on.

“I keep saying this, and I’m a frustrated man saying it, but I don’t think there’s a lot in the league.

“Games are won on fine margins and at the minute, at the top end of the pitch, we’ve missed really good opportunities.

“What happens then is players lack that confidence.

“We have a great chance, one-on-one, miss it, they go down and in the next 30 seconds the ball is in the back of our net.

“That deflates the team, they have to rise above that.

“I was disappointed in the last 20 minutes, I thought we ran out of ideas and feeling a little bit sorry for ourselves.

“That can happen on the run we are.

“It’s going to be a long old season but I think my fans already know that.

“I thought we could have quite easily won the game today but you don’t win games if you don’t finish chances.”

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.


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