Darrell Clarke pleased to see Walsall leave Newport with point

Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2020 by PA

Darrell Clarke pleased to see Walsall leave Newport with point

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke may not have seen a shot on target from his side in the goalless Sky Bet League Two draw with Newport, but he was happy to leave with a point from Rodney Parade.

That made it four points on the road in four days following their 2-1 victory at Forest Green last weekend and sets the Saddlers up nicely for back-to-back home games with Northampton and Port Vale.

“It was an absolute classic and I can’t wait to watch it back,” quipped Clarke after watching the second goalless draw between the two mid-table teams this season.

“We knew what it was going to be like coming here to play on a difficult surface on a windy day. We’ll take the positives out of it and apologise to our fans who came because it wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination.

“But I think they’ll appreciate the boys’ effort and it gives us something to build on going into two home games. I picked a team to get us a result, a strong, resilient team.

“I thought there were a couple of moments in the first-half on the transition of the ball when – if we’d looked after it a bit better – we might have been in a few times.

“It is a tough place to play. Four points from two away games is something positive to build on. I knew we were going to have to defend a lot of balls coming into our box from long throws and set plays and they are very good at it.

“They are very good at jumping on the second ball and defensively we had to be very solid. It isn’t a passing pitch and it was always going to be a difficult night for us.

“We were very sloppy with the ball. It was 10 out of 10 for effort and desire to get a clean sheet.”

That was the 14th clean sheet of the season for Walsall, while Newport made it three league games without a goal as they recorded their 12th game without scoring in all competitions.

They face Salford in the semi-finals of the Leasing.com Trophy next week and manager Michael Flynn saw another player join his ever-increasing injury list as Dan Leadbitter limped off before half-time.

“We think Dan’s got a bad hamstring tear, so he could be out for the rest of the season. He and Ashley baker could be out for the rest of the season,” said Flynn.

“We’ve gone from a clean bill of health to having eight out now, so it’s not easy. I only had six on the bench, and two of them were kids, and now I’ve got no right-backs and no left-backs.

“I thought we were by far the better team on the night, but we didn’t take any chances. It’s a bit of everything – misfortune, choosing the wrong options, not anticipating things.

“But I asked them for a reaction today and I got that. I had to make a few changes and I decided to make a few changes.”


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