Walsall told to toughen up by Darrell Clarke
Boss Darrell Clarke has called on his players to toughen up and prove they care as Walsall look to end a seven-match winless run by beating Forest Green Rovers tonight.
The Saddlers take on Mark Cooper’s side in the EFL Trophy with the team under mounting pressure to turn around their dreadful form.
After six straight loses, Clarke’s side then drew with National League North outfit Darlington in the FA Cup on Saturday.
And Clarke believes he has a number of players whose mindset isn’t right.
“I wish they (the players) cared as much as me, my supporters and my board sometimes,” the boss said.
“For some reason, we’re making soft players now.
“They have to get through that stage to make themselves better.
“We can lead them into shapes and patterns and the situations to score goals but they have to get themselves together and sort themselves out. It’s definitely a mental thing, without a shadow of a doubt.
“Like I’ve said to them, they’ll fall by the wayside.
“With myself and my staff there’s a lot of success amongst us – we know what it takes to be successful.
“My boys at the minute aren’t showing that.
“With a manager that’s under pressure by the way, massive pressure I’m under.
“I accept that and appreciate that and I apologise for that - I don’t want to be in the situation where we haven’t won in seven games.
“Hard work, graft, mindset will get me through it, not a problem, but it’s getting my players through it.
“We’ll help them as much as we can.”
While the EFL Trophy is arguably Walsall’s lowest priority this season, Clarke says he will be doing everything he can to get his team back to winning ways.
“We’ll take any win at the minute,” he added.
““I’m not going to over think things, we need to win football matches.
“We need to get players out there, some players need minutes to get their match fitness levels up.
“We’ll be putting a team out there to win the game, that’s for sure.”