Brian Dutton Departs Walsall After Disappointing Finish to the Season

Brian Dutton

Walsall have confirmed the departure of manager Brian Dutton after three months in charge. Dutton was given an initial short term deal until the end of season to replace Darrell Clarke after he left for Port Vale.

Dutton’s spell at Walsall comes to an end having collected just three league wins in charge and guiding Walsall to their lowest ever football league finish. In total, Dutton collected just 17 points from his 20 games in charge.

The search for Dutton’s replacement in underway as Walsall plan for a much improved season.

Brian Dutton Departs Walsall After Disappointing Spell in Charge

Poor Form Led to Departure

Initially joining as Darrell Clarke’s assistant manager in 2019 to replace Marcus Stewart, Dutton was thrusted into the role of first team manager following Clarke’s departure in February.

Dutton oversaw Walsall’s final 20 games of the season but managed to win just three times. Dutton’s reign started with a 13 game winless run which put Walsall in real danger of losing their football league status. However, three wins from the final seven games secured safety but ultimately it wasn’t enough to convince chairman Leigh Pomlett to give him the job long term. A 19th place finish represents a very disappointing campaign for the Saddlers.

A club statement on Walsall’s website read: “The club would like to place on record its thanks to Brian for his hard work and dedication during his two seasons at the Banks’s Stadium and we wish him well for the future.”

The club also confirmed the recruitment process to appoint a new manager is underway.

Walsall Targeting a Promotion Push Next Season

When Darrell Clarke was appointed Walsall manager, the club were targeting promotion back to League One. However, they have failed to sustain a serious push since their relegation.

Chairman Leigh Pomlett is determined to bring success and must get this next appointment right. This will be his first major managerial appointment since taking over the club. This is his opportunity to make a positive appointment to ensure Walsall are where they want to be.

Brian Dutton was an easy choice to step in temporarily but it always felt he wasn’t going to be a long term solution. They have a decent squad but the loss of Elijah Adebayo to Luton Town in the January transfer window hit the club hard. The club were always going to struggle after that and Dutton did enough to ensure survival.

Now it’s about competing at the upper echelons of the League Two table. It’s a terrific club for someone to come in and create a winning, exciting football team.

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