Brian Dutton discusses Walsall 'mock interview'

Brian Dutton insists his 'mock interview' with the Walsall board came with the blessing of former boss Darrell Clarke.

Walsall manager Brian Dutton.
Walsall manager Brian Dutton.

In the aftermath of Clarke's shock switch to Port Vale, Saddlers chairman Leigh Pomlett released a video to fans explaining the situation and why Dutton was taking over until the end of the season.

In that video Pomlett revealed that, alongside chief executive Stefan Gamble, they had conducted a 'mock interview' with Dutton with the view of him potentially becoming manager in the future.

Social media speculation was rife following that revelation, with supporters assuming Clarke was unaware of the interview, but Dutton insists he was 'content' with it and it was done to help him 'develop' as a coach.

When asked about the interview, Dutton said: "It would be good to clear that up as there's been a lot of comments on it.

"I'm someone who is always keen to try and develop as a coach. I felt that if an opportunity came my way in the future for a managerial role, it would be wise for me to have experience in an interview process because I've never had it.

"I have such a strong relationship with the previous gaffer Darrell and he was content with me doing that.

"It was just a case of Leigh and Stef mentoring me and showing me the interview process and exposing me to do it.

"As things turned out it was a sliding doors moment. I've had an opportunity to take the Walsall managerial role until the end of the season and I'm in better stead because of that mentoring from the chairman.

"I didn't envisage the opportunity coming so quickly but I'm glad I've done that mentoring."

Meanwhile, Dutton says the support he has received from the board makes Walsall the perfect place for him to take his first managerial role.

"I couldn't be in a better place for this role," Dutton added.

"If you're going to go in anywhere as a young coach and get an opportunity, Walsall and the people who run it are tailor made for me.

"Throughout their history they've always given managers support. Dean Smith is probably the most famous one.

"Someone who went 15 or 16 games without a win and the support he got from the people at the football club who could see what he was trying to do and that it was a project.

"They gave him time and look where he ended up. A first class manager going on to bigger and better things. The sky is the limit for him.

"I'm very fortunate to have calm and composed people around me who I can lean on for help but most importantly back me."

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