Clarke Pleased as 'Grafter' Josh Gordon Gets Back Among the Goals

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the press following his team's midweek EFL Trophy thrashing of Forest Green Rovers and hailed Josh Gordon after the striker netted a welcome hat-trick to help his side secure a place in the Second Round.
25-year-old Gordon was among a host of players to put in an impressive performance as the Saddlers completed a six-nil rout over the League Two leaders to top Southern Group D, going through to the next round without losing a game or conceding a goal.

Clarke, who had used several of his previous press meetings to criticise the mentality of many of his players, admitted that Gordon has a strong mind to match his work on the pitch, before praising many of the other stand-out players.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Darrell said; "We all know what Josh is about, he's a hard worker, he's a grafter. Goals have been a missing ingredient. It's a results business and we haven't been clinical so it's nice that we have.

"I don't have a problem with Josh's mental strength to be honest, I think he's a hardened, toughened lad. Josh will be the first one to tell you that he wants to be in the team scoring goals.

"It's important that the strikers, like Josh, gain confidence from that. I've got four strikers who will get plenty of opportunities to get on the run of scoring goals."

Alongside Gordon's much needed hat-trick, supporters were treated to superb performances with Wes McDonald, Liam Kinsella, and Cameron Norman also getting on the scoresheet and Clarke was pleased with his players taking more responsibility in front of goal.

The gaffer continued; "It helps when we shoot a little more doesn't it. It's amazing when we get end product, crosses and shots, you score goals. It's no rocket science is it - people have to put themselves in the situation.

"Kins has scored a great goal after turning down a couple opportunities on Saturday to score. He's got a great strike on him, hopefully that gives him a little bit of confidence as well because the midfielders have to chip in with goals.

"You have to get goals throughout your team to be successful. There's a lot of weight on the strikers at the minute because they've been missing the key chances. But it also helps when other members of the team take that responsibility.

"There isn't a problem with the lads' effort, desire and application. I've got all the stats, they're running, they're hitting the levels that they need to be. The boys are training really hard, grafting.

"We just have to be better in both boxes and then you start building on runs. I don't think there's ever been a problem with the work rate of the team."
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