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Walsall manager Darrell Clarke quits club for a new job

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke quits the League Two club for a new job, Football Insider exclusively revealed on Monday afternoon.

The West Midlands outfit’s 43-year-old manager wasn’t at the club’s training ground today as he prepares to leave.

A source from the Saddlers has told Football Insider that chairman Leigh Pomlett is addressing the players this afternoon about Clarke’s exit.

The Saddlers are 11th in the League Two table after a run of games which has had just one win in seven.

The club’s defensive record has been of particular concern – Walsall have conceded in their last 17 consecutive games across all competitions – they have not kept a clean sheet since 3 November.

The last time that they played, they could only pick up a 1-1 draw at home to Mansfield, who sat 14th, infuriating Clarke.

Speaking after the game, the 43 year old bemoaned “ridiculous” individual errors and said his side’s defending was “not good enough”.

The draw was Clarke’s final game in charge at Bescot Stadium with reports he has found a new job, details on that haven’t been specified as of yet.

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He took charge of his boyhood club in May 2019 after 244 games in charge of Bristol Rovers between 2014 and 2018.

He led the Saddlers to a 12th-placed finish in his first full season as manager and he was on course to better that this year.

His 78 games in charge of Walsall seen 26 wins, 21 draws and 29 losses.

“It’s not good enough and it’s a major concern,” Clarke said.

“A lot of the games where we have conceded a goal is from a ridiculous individual error, that should have been a clean sheet. We’ve conceded only one goal in the league from a corner. We’ve been very good at defending set-pieces.

“There’s a lot of aspects in our defending that has been good but the lack of clean sheets is down to ridiculous individual errors. Our performances have probably warranted about eight or nine clean sheets to be honest. As any manager of coach will tell you, individual mistakes are very hard to rectify.”

Immediately after reports emerged on his departure, he was named the top favourite for the Bristol Rovers job (replacing Joey Barton), and also entered the betting market for the manager’s job at AFC Wimbledon, Northampton Town and Port Vale.

He was appointed manager of Bristol Rovers in March 2014, but couldn’t prevent the club from dropping out of the EFL.

However, a year later, Clarke successfully guided Bristol Rovers back into the Football League after winning the 2015 Conference Premier playoff Final, and then went on to take the club into League One with promotion out of League Two in 2015–16.

At the time of his departure in December 2018, he was the fourth-longest serving manager in the EFL, before being appointed manager at Walsall in May 2019.

Fans reacted as the Walsall manager Darrell Clarke quits the club for a new job, find out what everyone had to say below…

@dharvey4: Darrell Clarke leaving Walsall today and the Bristol Rovers job is available

@DanHaye37604571: If Darrell Clarke has left let’s not underestimate how much of a loss that is.

@StuJones94: Is Darrell Clarke going back to Rovers to relegate them? Because I’m absolutely in favour of that

@pieman80: Take him at Swindon – take anyone at Swindon

@Jack_Lovering: Please. Please please please.

@_JoeWilkins: Bring the king home

@RFreem_: Performances were always dull and boring. Recruitment was questionable at best and clearly had his favourites which froze better players out of the squad. It’s a win win imo

@LiamStewartWFC: What the fuck

@seosamhmooney: Do the right thing Darrell. Take Swindon down.

@mart_davis: @Darrell_Clarke come home DC

@jetfury: I hope Darrell Clarke comes back to @Official_BRFC

@WS8KEV: Going back to Bristol rovers maybe

@holmz1980: Come home sweet prince

@Ali_Mac90: What a club! We do love a dramatic season!

@ReeceDSport: I want to say Vale but I don’t understand why. Equally he done an average at best job at Walsall so I refuse to believe it’s a job higher up

@JPearson94: It’s gunna happen again…

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