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Honesty is best policy for Walsall boss Darrell Clarke

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has hailed the improved relationship between the fans and the board at the club.

Darrell Clarke.
Darrell Clarke.

When Clarke took charge last summer, the Saddlers had suffered relegation to League Two and the association between supporters and the club hierarchy was at one of it's lowest points.

Although the 42-year-old chooses not to speak publicly about several squad issues, including injuries, chairman Leigh Pomlett has been more forthcoming with information to both the press and public since he took over last year.

"There was a lot of unrest when I came to the club," Clarke said.

"They had been relegated and there was a lot of unrest between the supporters and the owner and a lot of negativity around the place.

"The chairman then took over and it's a culture that we've tried to change, we are a community football club.

"I like my players getting out in the community, I like mixing in with the fans and the chairman is exceptional at it.

"Football always has been a working man's game and honesty is always the best policy.

"Being upfront and giving as much information out as you possibly can, which is difficult at times.

"The chairman is very good at communicating and over the last 12 months that relationship has improved in all areas.

"But at the end of the day as a manager I have to win games to keep the fans happy, while doing my bit speaking to fans and making them feel part of it.

"That enables you to get a better atmosphere at the club and the atmosphere and togetherness at the club is in the right place at the minute.

"It's really good to see."

After the coronavirus suspended football in early March, League Two was since curtailed, bringing Clarke's first Walsall season to an end.

The 2020/21 campaign is not expected to return until at least September – making it six months without football – and Clarke is raring to go and get back in action.

"I love my job and the pressures of my job – I love everything about my job to be honest with you," he added.

"Speaking with the lads, getting on the grass, preparing for games – I miss it massively.

"It's been nice to spend a bit more time with the family as it's 24/7 this job but I miss it because I love my job.

"I'm looking forward to getting back."

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