Clarke 'Not Getting Carried Away' as Walsall Hit Six to Secure Second Round Berth

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the press following the Saddlers six-nil demolition of Forest Green Rovers in the EFL Trophy and admitted he was pleased with his side’s ‘ruthless’ display as they secured their place in the Second Round of the much-maligned competition.
Clarke's Saddlers arrived at the clash on the back of a seven game winless run and in desperate need of a return to form as the pressure continues to mount on both manager and players alike.

However, after naming a line-up which included seven changes from last weekend's FA Cup - First Round draw with Darlington, Walsall took on a young Rovers side and took control from referee Tom Nield's first whistle.

Striker Josh Gordon, who had netted just once in eighteen games heading into the match picked up a well-deserved hat-trick before the high-energy Wes McDonald capped off a superb individual display with a well-taken goal.

The Saddlers weren't satisfied with just four goals and added two more, via Liam Kinsella and Cameron Norman, before the match official blew for full-time putting Mark Cooper's ten-man Forest Green out of their misery.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Darrell said; "We had to win a football game didn’t we. Obviously we know results haven’t been anywhere near good enough for this football club. You only do that by winning your next game. The lads put in a good performance, done the job and it’s nice to be in the next round."

Clarke’s men, who haven't conceded a goal so far in this season's EFL Trophy competition, were much improved upon recent displays and pressed aggressively throughout the game forcing the visitors into mistakes, with hat-trick hero Gordon, Caolan Lavery, Rory Holden and McDonald all causing the back-line issues.

The manager hopes his players can gain confidence from their complete performance and take it forward into their upcoming games, including this weekend's League Two clash with Cambridge United.

Darrell continued; "Forest Green are a very good team that are doing well in League Two. I know they made quite a few changes but for me the shape of the team was good without the ball.

"We pressed high, our transition was good when we did win it back and ruthless when we needed to be, which we haven’t shown at any point this season. Hopefully the boys gain a bit of confidence from that.

"I’m not getting carried away but we have to enjoy that and build confidence and try and take it into Saturday."
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