Darrell Clarke Wants the Saddlers to Thrive Under the Pressure of Expectation

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken ahead of this weekend's League Two clash between the Saddlers and Cheltenham Town and called upon his team to use the pressure as motivation as they look to bounce back from a duo of defeats.
Clarke, who had guided his side through a four-game unbeaten run ahead of defeats to Salford City and Leyton Orient, believes his squad has to learn to thrive under pressure as it will ultimately help them to improve their game.

The Saddlers play host to Michael Duff's 6th-placed Robins with a view to moving further from the relegation zone and will have to be at their best if they are to return to winning ways.

Speaking via the club's official website, Darrell said; "You have to enjoy pressure. There's pressure everywhere you go in the footballing world.

"I programme my mindset to enjoy it and to focus and players have to do that. Players that go through a bad run of form and players playing well, you have to be able to manage and control it.

"A lot of games are won, and we can talk until the cows come home on tactics, but for me the mindset of being confident and making right decisions under pressure.

"That's how players get up the pyramid and my players have to do it on a more consistent basis and show me, certainly at home, that they can take games by the scruff of the neck."

Despite the defeats to the Ammies and Orient the manager believes his team aren't too far away from pushing towards the top-half of the table but admitted they must improve their form at 'Fortress Bescot' if they are to make that dream a reality.

Darrell continued; "We have to turn our home form around. We're top seven for away form so it's not rocket science to say the points missing have been in our home performance.

"We have to address that sooner rather than later and you can only address that at 3pm Saturday. Duffy's done a cracking job over the last 18 months, two years.

"He's got his squad assembled, they've started really well. But it's a good opportunity for ourselves to beat one of the teams up near the top and try and climb the table."
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