Darrell Clarke: "I Thought it Was a Really Entertaining Game"

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the media and praised his side as they built upon their midweek EFL Trophy win over Forest Green Rovers to overcome Cambridge United on the way to a first league win in seven outings.
Goals from Josh Gordon, who added to his midweek hat-trick with just a minute on the clock, and defender Mat Sadler were enough to see the Saddlers home to victory, although Harvey Knibbs did add to the last-minute nerves with a strike in second-half stoppage time.

Clarke insisted that the match was an entertaining one before going on to praise his team for their overall display as they took the game to their opponents straight from the kick-off, something they have been failing to do over recent weeks and months.

The manager, who must now prepare his team for a televised Emirates FA Cup - First Round replay against Darlington, also praised the Saddlers faithful as they cheered their team to victory as their beloved team entered one of the performances of the season.

Speaking to the assembled media, Darrell said; "I thought it was a really entertaining game to watch to be honest. Just, the lads like to take years off my life as a manager by conceding the goal. We’ve had umpteen opportunities on the counter-attack in the second half.

"But I thought my players stood up to it well today, battled well, worked hard. We got the initiative early in the game, which was pleasing to see and that gets your fans behind you.

"That’s what I’m talking about at home, if you can start bright. Our fans have been great this season and they’ll get behind you when you score that early goal."

Clarke was handed a welcome selection headache on the afternoon as several of his fringe players had put in superb performances during the midweek EFL Trophy triumph over Forest Green Rovers and the manager admitted that some were unlucky not to make it into the team to play Cambridge, although he plans to make the most of the options at his disposal as the fixture list continues to pile up.

Darrell continued; "There’s a couple who were unfortunate to be honest and didn’t retain it. We’ve got a big week for the football club and it’s a great start. Another big game on Wednesday in the FA Cup so squads are important.

"Some of the players aren’t at the stage for me where they can play three games in a week and we have to make sure we utilise the squad and have belief in the squad. We have to make sure we keep building on these last two results."
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