Walsall boss Darrell Clarke will adapt to extra subs rule

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke admits he is concerned about the financial impact of using five substitutes, but has vowed to make use of the new rule.

Darrell Clarke
Darrell Clarke

Despite the season starting nearly three months ago, the EFL have only decided this week to allow clubs to use five substitutes for the remainder of the 2020/21 season. Clarke was calling for the rule change to be in place for the first two months of the season, to ease the pressure of the demanding schedule.

Now, despite the players taking part in a pay deferral and reduction programme, Clarke is concerned about using more players for each game, with appearance bonuses commonplace in football.

“I’ll adapt to that as a manager, it gives you different options, different headaches and different opportunities to change within the course of the game,” Clarke said. “We’ve come back in a lot of games, we have flexibility within the squad, hopefully that suits us to be able to freshen up and make the changes that we need to do. I wasn’t a fan of doing it, purely because of the financial situation and where we stand as a football club.

“It’s more money that we haven’t got, that could possibly go out, but with the opportunity to be able to use the five subs I will be using it.

“If we don’t, it won’t be to our advantage.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Liam Kinsella believes the new rule will help the club avoid further injuries.

“Obviously it being a packed season with Saturday-Tuesday games it’s going to help,” Kinsella said.

“You’ve seen a lot of teams getting injuries so I feel like five subs will help clubs manage it.”

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