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Darrell Clarke: "Unfortunately, It Wasn't to Be"

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the press following the Saddlers' Emirates FA Cup - Second Round defeat to League One Oxford United and conceded that the visitors deserve their place in the Third Round.
The Saddlers arrived at the clash on the back of a promising spell of form which had seen them avoid defeat in five all-competition outings, but were ultimately unable to prevent Karl Robinson's side from taking their place in the Third Round as experienced former Wolves midfielder James Henry netted six-minutes from time.


Sadly for the Saddlers, and despite a committed display from the group as a whole, the match saw them add to the growing tally of games in which they failed to make the most of promising goal-scoring chances with the in-form U's needing just one goal to reach the next round.

Speaking to the assembled media, Darrell said; "Oxford were the better team. They’ll be a top six League One team, they move the ball very well. And we knew that before the game. We were trying to think of a different way to skin a cat.

"My players aren’t at their level, anywhere near it to be honest at the minute. But I think effort, endeavour, desire from my lads was there to see. Putting bodies on the line. There’s still three chances to score the first goal, you’re not going to get many with the amount of possession Oxford get.

"You have to take the most of those. If you manage to sneak in front then it gives you something to hold on to. Like I say, the effort and application was there for all to see.

"It’s those little bits and pieces where you’re hoping to work them on the counter attack. We changed things around shape-wise and had a look at different things to try and skin a cat a different way. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be."

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