Captain Clarke Offers Praise For His 'Level Headed' Manager

Walsall captain James Clarke has spoken to the local press and, despite the Saddlers suffering an Emirates FA Cup exit at the hands of Oxford United, praised manager Darrell Clarke for his desire to win every game.
The Saddlers were knocked out of the Cup at the Second Round stage as well-travelled former Wolves midfielder James Henry grabbed the only goal of the game with just four minutes of normal time remaining.

And Clarke went on to admit his team lacked that cutting-edge in the final third but did enter an improved display, restricting their in-form opponents, who had gone fifteen all-competition games unbeaten, to just one goal.

Speaking via the Express & Star, James said; "We came out with a game-plan. We knew they were a possession-based team and they would have a lot of the ball. It was more of a counter-attacking thing.

"We had some really cutting-edge chances but unfortunately when it comes down to it, it was about being better in both boxes. They were more ruthless in our box than we were in theirs."

30-year-old Clarke, who is currently sidelined due to injury, went on to praise the manager who he believes is very level headed and will take each game as it comes avoiding the desire to look too far ahead.

James continued; "The way the gaffer is, he’s very level headed. He’s always said to me that you have to treat each game as it comes. Don’t worry about the next one thinking ‘we have to win that’, we go out to win every game.

"I’ve never known him to rest someone thinking ‘we’ll take what we can out of this game’ – he goes to win every game. That’s how you become a winner I think.

"Building wins upon wins and taking each game as it comes. If you start looking at where you are, looking at other games, you’ll try to pick ones you might win. We try to win every game and that’s the way forward."

Clarke, who joined Stuart Sinclair in following the gaffer to Walsall from Bristol Rovers last summer, admitted it was loyalty that made him follow his manager to the Black Country.

He added; "You can put it down to loyalty really. He took me off the building site, a couple of times now actually.

"He’s a great bloke, an honest bloke. If I aspire to be a manager then that’s what I’d want to be. An honest bloke, hardworking. That suits me down to the ground, playing for him."
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