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Darrell Clarke Pleased With Walsall's Mentality Despite a String of Defeats

Speaking ahead of this weekend's League Two clash between the Saddlers and Forest Green Rovers, Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has offered praised his squad’s mentality and the way they have responded in training over recent days.
After losing just one in nine between mid November and the turn of the year, the Saddlers have lost four of their last five ans will be looking to end a run of three consecutive defeats when they face Mark Cooper's side on Saturday afternoon.

Mansfield-born Clarke admitted he was frustrated after last weekend's defeat to Crewe Alexandra, as he felt there his team should have been awarded a free-kick in the build to the Railwaymen's equaliser, but is pleased with his squad's mentally, despite the run of defeats.

Speaking via the club's official website, Darrell said; "The mentality of the players is fantastic. If you're looking at question marks, Morecambe I got a bit of stick after the game but look at the reaction against Crewe in the first half.

"I have no problem with the mentality of the group, which has got stronger through the course of the season. It's something you always have to keep working on - I have no problem with the way the lads respond and give me everything.

"One or two things didn't go for us last week because it's a foul on Josh Gordon for the first goal, the referee or the assistant has to see that.

"Then you ride that bad start we had and you might go on and win the game. It's little things like that, fine lines are won in football games. Our fine lines last week was we were conceding sloppy goals from set pieces."

This weekend's clash will see the Saddlers make their first trip to the New Lawn and should see the Reds full of confidence as they have defeated their opponents in their previous two meetings - drawing one-all in the league and winning six-nil in the EFL Trophy.

Clarke admits Rovers have a talented squad and whilst he expects them to be tough opponents, he believes his team will be able to make life difficult for the mid-table team, who have also endured a run of poor form as of late.

Clarke continued; "They started the season really, really well but their form hasn't been great of late. They have talented players and did a lot of business in the window and they'll certainly be fighting for that top seven spot.

"We know it'll be a tough challenge, but they're all tough. They're all beatable as well - there's not a lot of difference between the top and the bottom.

"Every team that plays Walsall knows they'll be given a good game, I don't think there's any team that's walked us this year.

"We've had a couple of really shocking performances - Cheltenham away, Salford at home - but within that the games have been very close."

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