"We're Delighted" - James Clarke Reacts as Walsall Win on the Opening Day
 
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"We're Delighted" - James Clarke Reacts as Walsall Win on the Opening Day
 
"We're Delighted" - James Clarke Reacts as Walsall Win on the Opening Day

"We're Delighted" - James Clarke Reacts as Walsall Win on the Opening Day

8:30 am Wednesday, 7 August 2019  
Walsall captain James Clarke has spoken to club journalists and insisted practice makes perfect as he scored on his Saddlers debut to earn an opening-day victory over Northampton Town.
Right-sided defender Clarke scored the only goal of the game in the Saddlers' Sky Bet League Two opener against the Cobblers and played a key role in helping Darrell Clarke’s men earn a clean sheet as they began their campaign with a welcome win.

The 29-year-old, who joined Stuart Sinclair in swapping Bristol for the Banks's over the summer, went on to stress the importance of getting three points on the board on day one and was pleased to score only the third league goal of his career.

Speaking via the club's official website, James said; "It was the only way I was going to score a goal. It's a great result for us, especially away from home and a clean sheet. It’s massive, that game was scrappy.

"There will be scrappier games, there will be games where more football is played. It’s really tough to get your first win at the start of the season because you never know how games are going to go, so we’re delighted with the three points."

The Aylesbury-born defender scored the game's only goal with a looping header after thirteen-minutes of play and admitted - as the ball took a few moments to drop into the net - that he was satisfied, and a little relieved, that hard work on the training ground had paid off as the ball eventually dropped into the back of the net.

James, who was assisted by Josh Gordon as the striker looked to poke the ball over the line, continued; "I kept checking Josh was going to strike so I was screaming for him to leave it.

"It’s something you work on but I feel like if you work on things and practice things, they’ll come off for you on the pitch. If you don’t practice them then they’re not going to work for you on the pitch so I’m a big believer in that."

Clarke was joined in the Saddlers' backline by Dan Scarr and Mat Sadler and admitted that he and his new colleagues formed a solid trio and had a positive impact as the Saddlers showed resilience to grind out the much-needed result.

James added; "We defended really well today against big lads in their team from set plays so we were very ruthless at both ends. Ruthless is probably the word to you want to describe your team because that’s how the gaffer is building us to be.

"I think it shows that we’re strong and we’re not a team that’s going to buckle under pressure. A lot of pressure was put on us but we saw it out and we didn’t cave in."

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