James Clarke: "We Aren't a Team That Will Buckle Under Pressure" James Clarke: "We Aren't a Team That Will Buckle Under Pressure"

James Clarke: "We Aren't a Team That Will Buckle Under Pressure"

Walsall captain James Clarke has spoken to the local press and revealed that he believes the Saddlers are showing signs they have the mental toughness required to be successful in Sky Bet League Two.
Clarke, who was among a host of players making their full debuts against Northampton Town last weekend, was joined in the Saddlers' back three by Dan Scarr and Mat Sadler.

And Clarke, who scored the winning goal via a thirteenth-minute header, believes the whole team deserves credit for the way they defended while the Cobblers were pressing for an equaliser.

29-year-old Clarke, who has made over four-hundred professional appearances since making his debut for Oxford United in 2007, admitted that he was happy to be able to use his experience to help the Saddlers' inexperienced wing-backs Cameron Norman and Cameron Pring.

Speaking via the Express & Star, James said; "It's very early days but I think we showed at Northampton we aren’t a team that will buckle under pressure. That's a big thing.

"We were put under pressure but we saw it out – that shows strength. We didn't cave in. I'm right-footed and Sads is left-footed so it's natural we are on that side of the pitch.

"But it does allow us to talk to the wing-backs. You want your experienced lad in the middle with two younger lads either side or the other way around – your two experience lads on the outside. For us it's the way things have fallen into place. But it's a nice blend to have."

Clarke went on to look back at last weekend's season-opener and insisted the Saddlers showed their experience in the win at the Cobblers' PTS Academy Stadium as they stood firm to secure a welcome win.

But the right-sided defender was also impressed with Liam Roberts, Josh Gordon, Elijah Adebayo, and Pring as they were able to remain focused and help the team to take all three points.

James continued; "It was a streetwise performance at Northampton – it’s having a bit nous and knowing when to kill the game. We got the first goal and slowed things down.

"But we showed we have got a good blend of younger lads and senior lads. They compliment each other. I thought Pringy was excellent. I think Robbo was outstanding.

"It’s nice to have someone who controls their box. He comes for a lot and he catches a lot. And the two up front worked their socks off, if they keep working like that and bullying defenders, they will have a great chance.

"You have to give the lads credit but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves. It was only one game."
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