"Let's be Honest, It Wasn't a Classic" - Darrell Clarke

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the press following Wednesday's televised Emirates FA Cup - First Round victory over Darlington and praised his side as they did what was necessary to secure safe passage to the next round.
Walsall, who will take on Oxford United in the second round, were followed to Blackwell Meadows by just over one-hundred fans and were able to secure the win via Caolan Lavery's fifth goal of the season - the former Sheffield United striker netting midway through the second-half.

The Quakers were the better side for the opening forty-five minutes, but the Saddlers twere ultimately able to weather the storm and see out the result, taking them to three all-competition wins in a row and adding to the momentum ahead of this weekend's League Two clash with Stevenage.

Clarke, pictured during the original First Round meeting, had called upon his team to enter a professional performance ahead of kick-off and was satisfied with the result before admitting his team has plenty of work to do if they are to be able to build upon performances and become a more consistent side.

Speaking to the assembled media, Darrell said; "Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a classic. I thought Darlington are a credit to themselves over the two games. Really hard fought, never gave in.

"I thought first half they probably edged it, I wasn’t too happy with the first half. But second half I thought we were in control, albeit while not creating too many opportunities.

"A well worked set piece and we saw the game out comfortably in the end. It’s about winning football games. I called the players mentally soft in our bad run in October but now we’ve won three games on the spin and shown a different side to us.

"Hopefully the boys are learning how to win football matches, there’s loads of different ways you can win games. Sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up and try and quieten down a hostile crowd that got right behind the club from minute dot.

"We’ve come here, pitch is bobbly, their players are giving everything and raising that ten, fifteen per cent. But my lads found out a way to win, which I’ve been asking of them on a consistent basis.

"I’ll rewind to exactly what I said in September when we won four on the spin, we’re a million miles away from where I want to get us as a football club. But what I will say is, if players can come out of the October spell, they’ll come out as better players."
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