Clarke Calls For a Professional Performance Ahead of FA Cup Replay

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken ahead of this evening's televised Emirates FA Cup - First Round replay against Darlington and called upon his team to put in a ‘professional performance’ as they look to secure a spot in the Second Round.
A win for the Saddlers will see them play host to Oxford United in the Second Round and Clarke admits there is extra expectation on his team as they are expected to get the job done against their Vanarama National League North opponents with the TV camera's in attendance.

The manager, who has seen his team win their last two all-competition outings following a streak which saw them defeated in six league games on the bounce, expects his team to be professional and do what is expected of them despite the added pressure.

Speaking via the club's official website, Darrell said; "We go there, the TV cameras are there and everyone wants the underdog to win. For me, it's about going up there, doing a job professionally and try to get ourselves in the Second Round.

"I've had both ends of the spectrum in the FA Cup where I've been the underdog and the ones that are expected to win. I tell you, both of them are not easy things to do, but it's always hard when everyone is willing Darlington to go through.

"If we're professional and approach the game as we have done in the last couple of games then I'm sure we'll do alright. Yes we're expected to win because we have better players, because they're playing higher up the pyramid, but it counts for nothing.

"If they raise their game ten or fifteen per cent and we dip below that, that's why you see non-league teams beat Premier League teams. That focus has got to be on winning the football game, don't worry about the occasion."

The Mansfield-born boss went on to admit that, despite the team struggling for form in the league, he sees all cup matches as crucial ones given the prize money which is involved, especially as he hopes to add to his squad in the upcoming January Transfer Window.

Darrell continued; "It is big. When you bring in a pound and spend a pound, that's what we do. Even progressing in the EFL Trophy is big.

"People belittle that competition and I get that with the Premier League teams in it, but for financial rewards it's a big competition for us.

"And the FA Cup is a big competition for us. The more money you can gain through revenue the more I can buy myself some new toys."
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