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Walsall vs Crawley preview: Clarke’s demanding a reaction to defeat

By Liam Keen | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke wants a ‘reaction’ from his side against Crawley Town after a poor performance last time out.

Darrell Clarke

The Saddlers fell to a 3-1 defeat away at high-flying Cheltenham in what was a below-par display from Clarke’s men.

And as they welcome the test of Crawley tomorrow, who sit one point and one place behind Walsall in the league, Clarke is expecting a response.

“I want a reaction from ourselves,” he said.

“Any manager, when you’ve lost a game, you’re looking for a response.

“The lads need to take the opportunity that I’ve given them – I mean that in the best possible way.

“It was the seventh game in 22 days, the performance was very flat.

“One in 10, I can handle a real bad performance, but we don’t want to get used to it.

“The run of 10 league games and 18 points, I think we have to be pleased with that.

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“It was a disappointing performance on Saturday, but you like to think we’re moving in the right direction.

“We can’t get carried away and we need to keep building and working on players.

“We have a young-ish squad and the players need to keep learning. And pretty quickly, before they can even dream about being the finished article.”

John Yems’ Crawley side have had a resurgence in form in recent weeks, as they’ve gone unbeaten in five.

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After an impressive 2-1 win over Bradford last week, Clarke is wary of the threat they will pose.

“They’re a very good team, they’ve impressed me this season,” he added.

“Another team where the manager lost his job and they went on a really bad run after a promising start.

“I thought they were one of the better teams we played in the early part of the season.

“Watching their last few games, I think they’re back to it.

“It should be a good game.”

Despite the improved Saddlers form, Clarke is adamant that his side must continue their building process this season.

“A couple of months ago people were fearing the worst, that we’d be dropping out of the league,” he said.

“But I never get myself too high or too low, there’s still a lot of work to be done at the club and that’s the mindset of myself, my staff and my players.

“We have to keep building that uphill trend and there’s a long way to go.

“We certainly don’t need too many performances like Saturday because we were very poor.

“It’s not rocket science, it’s time.

“New players, a new group with new relationships.

“Not all of my signings have been a hit, but the fortunate thing for me is I’m not spending millions of pounds and making errors.

“We don’t take big financial risks, we do things sensibly.

“One or two of those are starting to find a bit of form, which is good.

“One or two of the players from last year, who still had a bit of a hangover from last year, are starting to find their form as well.

“Long may it continue.”

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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