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Darrell Clarke: "Treat Harrogate With the Respect They Deserve"

The Walsall boss has looked ahead to this afternoon's clash.
Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken ahead of this afternoon's League Two clash between the Saddlers and former National League side Harrogate Town, and insisted the gap between the National League and League Two is narrowing.

Clarke, who saw his team win their opening League game last weekend, admits his team will have to bring their A-game when they take Simon Weaver's side, who also opened their campaign with a win as they put four goals last Southend United.

The manager, who has taken charge of teams in League One, League Two and the National League, insisted the Saddlers must respect their opponents as teams who make their way up from the National League are renowned for holding their own in the third tier of the EFL.

Speaking via the club's official website, Darrell said; "I must say having managed League One, League Two and National League over quite a few games now, there really is not a lot of difference between the bottom half of League One, League Two to the top half of National League, it’s very fine lines.

"Budgets can be very equal now in all those three divisions in those sections of it so we’ve got to make sure we treat Harrogate with the respect they deserve.

"Teams are renowned for getting promoted and holding still their own in League Two so we certainly won’t be going there thinking because we’ve got a better history than Harrogate and won’t be going there underestimating them.

"They’ve got a great manager who has done very well there. The club is owned by his dad so it’s a tight nit group and we’re going to have to bring our A-game to try and get the three points."

Clarke went on to discuss the importance of consistency and, after seeing his side win their opening league game along with their recent cup displays Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy respectively, believes they must become more clinical in front of goal.

The Mansfield-born boss continued; "That’s what you’re looking for, that consistency. It was three different performances but three decent performances and all different style of games.

"The three points against Grimsby, I thought we earned them albeit we could have been a bit more clinical in key areas.

"I was really pleased to start with a win but we have to put all that to one side now because we’ve got a tough game with Harrogate.

"I’ve watched a fair bit of them, they’re on a high, they’ve got good momentum, a squad that has been together for a couple of years and had good success so it’s going to be a good challenge."
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