Darrell Clarke: "It's Going to Be a Long Season"

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the press following Saturday afternoon's defeat to Mansfield Town and admitted to a feeling of déjà vu as the Saddlers continued their spell of dismal form - registering a fifth defeat in a row.
Clarke's side had suffered defeats to Salford City, Leyton Orient, Cheltenham Town, and Oldham Athletic heading into the clash and were in desperate need of a positive result as they continued to sit towards the foot of the table.

The Saddlers entered a much-imporved performance but were still unable to secure a win as goals from former Saddler Andy Cook and Alex MacDonald were enough to cancel out Elijah Adebayo's first-half leveller and secure three points for the Stags.

Clarke was once again frustrated at his team's lack of finishing as they spurned goal-scoring chances with one even leading to a Mansfield goal as Rory Gaffney effort eventually led to a Stags counter attack which they eventually converted.

Speaking to the assembled media, Darrell said; "I think it’s Groundhog Day for a lot of our games this season. That’s why it’s going to be a long season. Let’s make no bones about it, we are where we are.

"Where we deserve to be, because of both boxes. We’re missing very good chances, the other team is taking their chances, it’s as simple as that. Some players need a bit of a break but it’s very difficult when you’ve got the injury list that we’ve got at the minute.

"Picked up another one today. Three centre-halves missing today, two from injury, one from suspension. Centre forwards I think are feeling the weight on their shoulders because they’re not taking the opportunities.

"I’ve got to keep working with them, in body and mind. Try and give them that confidence, that result, that win, that goal. Something that can kick us on. I keep saying this, and I’m a frustrated man saying it, but I don’t think there’s a lot in the league.

"Games are won on fine margins and at the minute, at the top end of the pitch, we’ve missed really good opportunities. What happens then is players lack that confidence.

"We have a great chance, one-on-one, miss it, they go down and in the next 30 seconds the ball is in the back of our net. That deflates the team, they have to rise above that.

"I was disappointed in the last 20 minutes, I thought we ran out of ideas and feeling a little bit sorry for ourselves. That can happen on the run we are. It’s going to be a long old season but I think my fans already know that.

"I thought we could have quite easily won the game today but you don’t win games if you don’t finish chances."
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