Darrell Clarke: "Stand Up and Be Counted"

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoke ahead of this weekend's League Two clash with Port Vale and called upon his team to 'stand up and be counted' as they look to continue their recent rise up the table.
The Saddlers will arrive at their clash with the Valiants sitting thirteenth in the table following last weekend's comeback win over Northampton Town - a game which saw the Saddlers bag three second-half goals to take all three points - the result leaving Clarke's side just nine points below the Play-Off places.

With twelve games of the season remaining, Clarke has challenged his team to show what they are truly made of over the final few months of the season and look to end the once seemingly doomed campaign on a high.

The manager, who will be taking charge of his forty-fourth Saddlers game at the weekend, also admitted that he'd given his team a lot of criticism in the past but went on to praise them for their reaction which has seen them go three unbeaten over recent weeks.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Darrell said; "At Carlisle I gave them a lot of stick in a game that we should have won and we got beaten 2-1. Then the response has been pretty good.

"We don’t want to show weakness, if you’re going to be successful you’ll have to come back in games through the course of the season. I demand character, that’s a bare minimum for me.

"Pump your chests up, stand up and be counted. The game is all about mentality, the majority is, You’ll hear top level managers speaking exactly the same thing - in the walk of life and different jobs as well.

"Mentality has to be spot on, there’s loads of variables throughout football games that can change the mindset and change the mentality of players. It’s an ongoing focus that we try and work on to make sure they focus in a positive way.

"You can learn it but a lot of it is learning through experience. Development players learn by going through stages of their career.

"For me you aren’t a pro footballer until you’ve played well over a hundred games because then you’ve gone through different things in that time.

"Going through good spells, bad spells - and keeping consistency. If individuals get that right and have a strong mindset then that collectively comes into the team."
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