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Walsall strikeforce earns Darrell Clarke’s praise

By Liam Keen | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has heaped praise on his three first-team strikers for their consistency after the 3-1 win over Exeter.

Darrell Clarke

Josh Gordon leads the pack with 12 goals, just ahead of Caolan Lavery on 10.

In recent weeks Elijah Adebayo has impressed and his brace against Exeter increased his total strikes to eight this season – and while Clarke was keen to praise the 22-year-old, he was full of admiration for all three of his forwards.

"He's (Adebayo) been very good," he said.

"Lavery, Gordon, Adebayo – they're coming into their own with their form, the second-half of the season has been pretty good and pretty consistent.

"We'll keep working with those players and sometimes one will play over another one.

"Lavery I thought did great and he normally finishes those opportunities and Adebayo came on when the game died down a little bit.

"It was a great cross at the back by Cameron Norman and a good header back to where it came from."

After two superb displays against Northampton and Port Vale, fans were surprised to see Adebayo named among the substitutes for the Exeter clash, but Clarke revealed that the striker had picked up an ankle injury before the postponed Stevenage game last week.

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"Some people will look and think Adebayo is unfortunate not to be in the starting team, but they don't know he's been injured for a week do they," he added.

"We have to protect him with his ankle that he rolled last week.

"He was ruled out (for Stevenage) after doing his ankle - he caught one on the end of his toe which is painful.

"It's eased down pretty well and he had a very light session on Thursday.

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"He still felt it a little bit on Friday so I thought it was too much of a risk to potentially start him, but my three strikers are on form."

Meanwhile, right-back Shay Facey was also absent from the team and Clarke confirmed that he withdrew on the morning of the game with a hamstring knock – and was replaced by Cameron Norman.

"We worked with him all day, Shay was in the team to be honest with you, but he phoned in with a hamstring complaint," he said.

"Norman, to be fair, is good competition and has been playing well himself recently."

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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