Opposition view: Clarke delighted with 'ugly' and 'scruffy' win over 'decent' Cobblers

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke did not care about the 'scruffy' and 'ugly' nature of his side's 1-0 victory over Northampton on the opening day of the new League Two season.

Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 10:59 pm
Darrell Clarke spent almost five years at Bristol Rovers before leaving last season midway through last season. Picture: Pete Norton

James Clarke's early header separated the sides in Saturday's curtain-raiser at the PTS although Walsall were indebted to goalkeeper Liam Roberts who produced a string of fine stops.

The pick of his saves saw him react quickly to keep out Sam Hoskins and Andy Williams, ensuring Clarke's reign as Saddlers boss began on a winning note.

"It was an ugly, scruffy 1-0," admitted Clarke. "That's textbook for the first game of the season but we certainly won't get carried away.

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"We'll enjoy our win with the fans who came out in their numbers and showed fantastic support, but it was a scruffy game and our goalkeeper has had to pull out some top saves.

"That's what happens if you want to win away from home in this league. I'm really pleased with the clean sheet and the effort and the determination of the group to not give anything away.

"We showed good game management but it's only one game and they got in a couple of times and had some opportunities so we'll go away, analyse the good bits and the bad bits and work towards the next game.

"I'm just really pleased with the whole group because we've had to defend and the 'keeper has had to pull off some saves when they pushed.

"Northampton are a decent side and they look to have a decent setup and Keith Curle is a good manager but you can lose 15 games and still get promoted in this league so it's just about putting it to bed quickly and moving on - and I'd have said that had we lost the game."