Clarke Offers Praise for Walsall's Homegrown Quartet

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the local press and offered praise for a group of the Saddlers' homegrown players after they entered superb performances against Cambridge United at the weekend.
Clarke watched as his side secured their first league win in seven outings as Josh Gordon and Mat Sadler struck to deny the visitors - despite Harvey Knibbs' injury-time goal - and was full of praise for his team as they recorded a second all-competition win of the week.

The manager then went oin to pick out the four homegrown players who played a major part in the win as Liam Roberts, Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Liam Kinsella, and Alfie Bates all produced the goods as the Saddlers bagged a welcome win.

Speaking to the assembled media, Darrell said; "The momentum swing in football clubs is so hard to get hold off. It takes a bit of time. Let's not forget, we have four players that came through the system in that team today.

"Fans love to see players of their own. Alfie Bates, an 18-year-old kid in the midfield, Liam Kinsella, I thought Callum Cockerill-Mollett was outstanding and then Liam in goal.

"That's what the fans want to see at this football club, lads having a really good go for the shirt. They want to see the quality as well, we get that, but it's nice to see players coming through the system. Doing it the Walsall way shall we call it. Long may it continue."

The win over Cambridge looked to be a comfortable one until Knibbs netted in second-half stoppage time and Clarke went on to praise the heart of his players as despite being towered over by several of the visitors' players they showed plenty of determination to get back to winning ways.

Darrell continued; "For me it's the size of your heart isn't it. Those boys have big hearts and they have to keep working hard. It's up to me and my staff to get the players better.

"They do need a lot of improvement, obviously where we are in the league. But when you have the basics of the game, work hard, desire and the enthusiasm to learn and listen, then you have the base of something that can improve.

"With negative results it can affect confidence and mentality but if they can get to the other side of it they'll be better players for the long term. Certainly the younger boys, that don't have that experience, they should be growing from that."
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