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Walsall boss Darrell Clarke defends his selection of Josh Gordon

By Liam Keen | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke does not believe his decision to play striker Josh Gordon on the wing in recent weeks has contributed to two consecutive losses for the club.

Darrell Clarke

The 25-year-old fan-favourite has netted nine goals this season, largely playing through the middle.

With the lack of an experienced right-winger at the club, Gordon has filled in for the losses to Carlisle and Morecambe, to the fury of most supporters.

Although Clarke understands his best position is up front, the manager does not believe it had any bearing on the final result.

“I’m not blaming that at all,” he said. “We have Jack Nolan coming in who will have more minutes before the end of the season. There’s no blame from me whatsoever.

“The wide players I’ve gone in for, the salaries are way too much for me, where I stand with it.

“I’ll treat the club’s money like it’s my money – we’ll be sensible with it. There’ll be no knee jerk reactions here. We’ll work together as a group and see how things pan out.

“He does brilliant (on the wing).

“I wanted to play two up top and I wanted to go with Adebayo because I thought he did very well against Carlisle and has scored good goals previously.

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“I also knew that we were coming up against a big physical team and he gives me a bit more height and presence in both boxes.

“I understand that Josh Gordon’s best position is up the top end of the pitch, I know that.

“But he has honesty and endeavour and that’s why I made that selection.

“Is it right? No. When you lose as a manager you don’t make right selections, it doesn’t matter what you do.

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“Did we lose the game because Josh Gordon played out wide? No. We lost the game because we didn’t take care of our opportunities at the right time.”

Gordon came off at half-time during the Morecambe defeat and Clarke confirmed after the match that it was a precautionary measure.

“He was having a massage at half-time and was massively tight on his hamstring and tight on his calf,” he added. “He didn’t want to pull a muscle.

“I was disappointed to be honest because Josh is very effective in his energy levels.

“But hopefully it was a precaution that we brought him off and hopefully he’s OK for Saturday.”

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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