Walsall boss Darrell Clarke looking to reset and then go again

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has welcomed the extended mid-season break as he bids to get his side back on track.

Darrell Clarke.
Darrell Clarke.

Following a run of four impressive victories in December, the Saddlers have since lost three in a row over the festive period – ending with a 2-0 home defeat to Carlisle on January 2.

Walsall now do not have a game today, postponed due to Morecambe's FA Cup exploits, handing them a two-week break before their next game at home to Oldham on January 16.

"It comes as a good reset," Clarke said.

"It was always going to be the reset, win, lose or draw.

"We're all very flat at the minute because it's been a shocking seven days.

"I'll be the first one picking myself up, ready to go again with another plan in place to make sure these two weeks are spot on.

"To make sure we come out here in the next game and have a right good go."

Often when teams are handed a break in the middle of a season, players prefer to have another game come quickly – particularly when they are in losing form.

But this season, due to the late start, the Saddlers have had to endure a gruelling schedule of Saturday-Tuesday games and for midfielder Stuart Sinclair he believes work on the training ground is now essential.

When asked if the break will be a help of hindrance, he said: “It’s tough, I think it’s neither here or there.

"We just need to make sure we train properly and we do the right things.

"I think for some of the lads it’s probably good that they have a break and they recover and mentally take a break but for me personally I am chomping at the bit so I’d be quite happy to play on Tuesday.”

For one player, however, the break is 'bad timing'.

George Nurse made his return to the team, after a 13-game absence due to a tendon injury, in the loss to Scunthorpe on December 29.

He was a second half substitute in the defeat to Carlisle, too, and is eager to play rather than rest.

"It's sort of bad timing," he said.

"I've been out for long enough now and I want to be out there training and playing as much as I can.

"It's a bit of bad timing but I have to do it."

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