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Darrell Clarke: Walsall winger Wes McDonald can reach for stars

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke believes Wes McDonald has ‘the attributes’ to play at a higher level, but that he needs to find more consistency.

Wes McDonald.
Wes McDonald.

The winger has been a fans’ favourite this season, picking up seven goals and four assists with electrifying performances this campaign.

However, his performance levels have fluctuated of late and Clarke says that if the 22-year-old can find more consistency, then he will have a successful career ahead of him.

“I always say this, players have got the manager and the coaching staff,” he said. “We put the fundamentals on, the environment, the sessions and the game plans on – but for me, you’re your own manager as a player.

“How you live your life, how you train every single minute of every day, what you do away from the pitch and how you deal with things mentally.

“Wes has the attributes to play higher, but you’ve got to be that on a consistent basis and that’s what everyone is thriving to be.

“You can see in players the penny drops early enough, and sometimes it doesn’t drop early enough.

“They’ll kick on in their careers but they’re in control of their own destiny that’s for sure.”

Consistency has been a key word for Clarke all season, with the team currently missing out on a play-off spot due to spells of poor results earlier in the campaign.

The 42-year-old is keen in instil that in his team and not allow individuals to be in their ‘comfort zone’.

“That’s the nature of the beast, we’re in a ruthless world where you’ve got to be at it,” he added.

“Myself and my coaching staff set high demands and those demands have to keep being met on a consistent basis.

“I think some players get in a bit of a comfort zone when they have their good games and they’re slacking off in training and don’t reach the consistency levels.

“I’ve never managed a promotion winning team without consistency and that’s the key as individual players and us as a team.”

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