‘They have to learn’ – Walsall boss Darrell Clarke delivers firm message to his squad

Darrell Clarke has blasted his players after their 2-1 defeat at Cheltenham, as reported by the Express and Star.

The Saddlers had seemingly turned a corner, with four wins in a row through September. Any notion they might be about to push up the table has been quickly dispelled though as they lost their last three fixtures, two of which were at home.

The most recent defeat came against Cheltenham Town where Luke Varney gave the visitors the win after Josh Gordon had levelled Ben Tozer’s opener. That came on the back of a 3-1 defeat at Leyton Orient and the humbling 3-0 reverse against Salford.

The former Bristol City and Salisbury manager admitted things simply were not good enough.

“The mentality of the players that I brought into the club has to be a lot better,” he said. “They’re like little boys, some of them out there. I take full responsibility, they’re going to get my help and my coaching staff’s support.

“It’s really poor, they’re showing me a hell of a lot more in training than they are in matches. But you get paid for matches.”

He then implored the supporters to take their frustration out on him, not the players, despite confessing that they’re not good enough.

“They have to learn, it’s a young group, very, very young group. It’s how you respond to that.

“Me, I’ll stand up and be counted, not a problem. I’ve been in many situations like this as a manager. What I will say is take it out on me, not my players, they know they’re not good enough at the minute, I know they’re not good enough at the minute.”

Our View

Clarke looked like a great appointment in the summer, but we’ve had a few doubts about some of the recruitment, particularly up front.

They’re struggling for goals and the likes of Rory Gaffney and Elijah Adebayo don’t look to be up to the challenge. With the greatest of respect to both they’re other team’s cast-offs for a reason.

Couple that with a frail defence and you have a recipe for disaster. It might seem like a knee-jerk reaction, but we wonder how much longer Clarke will hang on to the job.

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