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Match Reaction: "A Shocking Way to Start the Calendar Year"

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke spoke to the local press following the Saddlers' League Two defeat to Carlisle United.
Clarke, who had seen his side slip to their third defeat in as many games as visitors Carlisle secured a two-nil triumph, admitted it was a shocking way to start the new calendar year..

Just a few weeks ago the Saddlers were in the midst of a superb six-game unbeaten spell of form and sat just one place below the Play-Off places, but, after a trio of defeats, they now sit eleventh in the table, four points below the top seven.

As the Cumbrians now sit atop the table, Saddlers Manager Clarke now has two-weeks without a game and intends to use his time wisely as his team have plenty of issues to overcome, including a lengthy injury lay-off for Rory Holden, if they are to get their season back on track.

Speaking to the assembled media, Darrell said; "This was a shocking way to start the calendar year and it’s been a bad seven days to be honest.

"We’ve lost three games in seven days off the back of showing some winning form, and we’ve lost one of our better players in Rory Holden to an injury picked up in training. 

"It’s been a really bad week and I apologise for that – the performance today wasn’t good enough and we were miles off it.

"We were second to it, we had a few players that were lacking a bit of match fitness, a few that are in need of a breather, and the best team won.

"It took us thirty-five minutes to get the ball down and play and that’s too long – we needed people to step up to the plate and combat the fact that Carlisle are a second ball team with high energy.

"There were too many sloppy passes, going too long, players not making the right angles, a mixture of things that didn’t work for us.

"We didn’t look like creating anything of note, there was plenty of hustle and bustle at times but we have got to be a lot better.

"Now we have this break we have got to reset and re-evaluate for the next two weeks. Myself and the staff will be working hard to make sure we do the right things with the players, get the right rest into those that need it, and get a lot better from what has been a really disappointing week for us.

"There is no hiding away from that fact and.no hiding away from today being a very poor performance from us which sums up the week.".

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