Clarke Pleased With Walsall's Improved Defensive Display

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the local press ahead of this weekend's League Two clash with Northampton Town and praised his defence after they entered a much-improved performance during the mid-week draw with Newport County.
Along with losing three of their previous four games heading onto the clash, the Saddlers had conceded five goals from set pieces those games and were desperate to prove their worth during a chilly trip to Rodney Parade.

Playing out a scrappy goalless draw on a difficult surface, Clarke's side had to defend several set pieces over the course of the game and the gaffer was pleased with the team's solid clean-sheet securing display.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Darrell said; "They're very good at it and jumping on the second balls, so defensively we had to be solid. It's the same for both teams, so I'm not grumbling, but it isn't a passing pitch.

"There were so many bobbles so it was always going to be a difficult night. They're a very good second-ball team that was cause you a lot of problems.

"I thought we were very sloppy in possession of the ball but it was 10 out of 10 for effort and the desire to get a clean sheet.

"We've been a bit sloppy defending set plays and we knew we'd be truly tested so to come out with a clean sheet - with all the long throws and corners - I thought we were tremendous at that.

"Hopefully that gives the boys confidence because we have to be better at it than in recent weeks."
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