Darrell Clarke: Walsall will 'rally around' Liam Roberts

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke insists his side will ‘rally around’ goalkeeper Liam Roberts after his error cost the Saddlers three points at Newport County.

.Walsall manager Darrell Clarke
.Walsall manager Darrell Clarke

Less than two minutes after Elijah Adebayo gave them the lead, Roberts fumbled a 35-yard Scott Twine free-kick to hand the hosts an equaliser.

Clarke insists they will ‘support’ the 26-year-old but hinted that understudy Jack Rose could come in for the next game.

“I’m not going to make scapegoats of my players, it’s an obvious error isn’t it,” Clarke said.

“We’ve had too many of those from individuals during the course of this season.

“Like anything in this footballing world you have to pick yourself up from the canvas.

“I have to do it many times and players have to do that when they make those sort of errors.

“We’ll rally around him and give him the support and you put that right with your next performance, when and if he gets his next chance.”

When asked about Rose vying for his chance, Clarke added: “I’ll make those calls but he’s one of our players and has made some good saves this season.

“We’ll rally around him and then whoever I pick in goal the next game, they need to make sure their performance is spot on.”

Despite handing Newport an equaliser, Walsall were good value for their lead after creating several good opportunities in both halves - with Emmanuel Osadebe going closest.

The Saddlers became the first team to take any points from Rodney Parade this season and although Clarke was pleased with the team’s response following the 3-0 defeat to Cheltenham, he has been left frustrated at not taking all three points.

“Yes, certainly (we are frustrated),” Clarke said.

“I was looking for a reaction after the disappointing performance in the second half against Cheltenham.

“It was the first time the lads had caved in this season.

“Then tonight the work-rate and endeavour (was good), we limited them to chances and probably had the better chances through the course of the game.

“I’m pleased with that but very frustrated and disappointed we haven’t made it three points.

“I thought the press was very good. We worked really hard.

“I was looking for a good reaction from my boys against top of the table, who are flying at the minute.

“The response was good but it’s certainly the most frustrating spell for me as a manager.”

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