Clarke Apologetic as Walsall's Winning Streak Comes to an End

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the press following the Saddlers' dismal defeat to Salford City, and admitted that the performance was simply not good enough.
Clarke, who watched as goals from Luke Armstrong, Jake Jervis, and Ibou Touray secured the points for the visitors, admitted that his team struggled to get a hold in the game and were made to look for too inferior as the Ammies took all three points at Banks's Stadium.

The Saddlers had arrived at the match on the back of a four-game all-competition winning streak and hoped to build upon their recent form as they welcomed the 'Class of 92'-backed side to WS1.

However, the Reds were once again poor in front of goal as the victors took enough of their openings to secure a welcome win and clean-sheet, allowing them to edge away from the League Two relegation zone.

Walsall boss Clarke went on to praise the visitors for their composed display before apologising to the Saddlers faithful as they begin to look ahead to next weekend's awayday trip to Leyton Orient.

Speaking to the assembled media, Darrell said; "It was very much a bad day at the office.

"It just goes to show that when you are working with a group of players, and have two or three that are very important who are not in the team, we looked like a development team.

"That is where we are at Walsall at the minute, and we have got to learn as a group and learn quickly. We have come out against a Salford team who probably have treble our budget and are a team of experienced men.

"They are going to be there or thereabouts and it was men against boys and they showed that. They had lost a couple of games and were getting a bit of stick and we knew it was going to be a difficult game.

"We’d worked on them in our preparation as we do every team in this division but were just nowhere near good enough today.

"We never got the thrust of the game, never settled down or got our foot on the ball, and were sloppy in possession.

"It’s now three wins and a loss in the league over the last four games, and we would take that every day of the week. But I am very disappointed with today.

"I apologise to the home supporters who came in their numbers and got behind the team again. We haven’t performed in front of our home fans and that’s got to change."

Mansfield-born Clarke went on to admit that he was particularly disappointed with the Saddlers' lack of cutting edge as the visiting side were able to secure a comfortable win despite statistics showing the game to be fairly even.

Darrell continued; "There was a lack of cutting edge and we had our opportunities but didn’t create nearly enough with the final ball again.

"We worked a couple of opportunities in the first half, but in the second half the wrong choice of final pass was massive for us.

"We have to get used to being robust in League Two in every single game, and I didn’t think we showed the character that was needed today.

"To be fair to Alfie Bates, at 18-years-old, he came on took the game by the scruff of the neck and can come away with a pat on his back. But apart from that there aren’t many positives to take."
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