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Sampson will fight to clear name after being charged with using racist language

Stevenage caretaker manager Mark Sampson insists he will fight to clear his name after being left “devastated” by a Football Association charge of using racist language.

Former England Women boss Sampson was charged by the FA in midweek after an allegation by a former coach at the League Two club.

Stevenage moved off the bottom of the League Two standings after a 0-0 draw at Walsall on Saturday.

Sampson said: “I’m incredibly disappointed that I’ve been charged. I said right at the outset that the allegation is false.

“What I will do is fight to make sure I clear my name and fight to make sure that all the evidence that needs to be seen is seen.

“I’m devastated, it’s as simple as that. This is a situation which the football club don’t deserve and they have been incredible standing by me.

“It’s been a hard time but ultimately I’m completely confident in the evidence I’m going to provide and then the right decision will be made.”

Stevenage had 16 shots at fellow strugglers Walsall but failed to register one on target and Sampson said: “We’re not doing enough to finish these games off.

“We can’t create the moments we’re creating, have the good play we’re having and not put the ball in the back of the net.

“To get away from where we are, we need to get three points on a consistent basis. If you do that, you pull away.”

Walsall had the better chances to win the game as Stevenage keeper Paul Farman denied Rory Holden, Scarr and Josh Gordon before Danny Guthrie’s stoppage-time 20-yard free-kick hit the bar.

The Saddlers slipped to 22nd, five points above bottom spot, and boss Darrell Clarke pinpointed the need to keep injury-prone ex-Newcastle midfielder Guthrie fit.

Clarke said: “If we can get Danny fit and keep him fit, that’s going to be the key. He’s a very talented player and he can unlock defences. His record speaks for itself.

“There’s no one more frustrated than Danny at the minute. He’s working hard, we’re looking at his diet, we’re looking at everything to make sure we can try to keep him fit on a regular basis.

“He’s got that quality, that final pass, that final delivery and we need to make sure we keep him clear of injury. We’re hoping for a big run of games for him now.

“We were within an inch of the crossbar from winning the game but Stevenage edged the first half, there was not a lot in the game, chances for both teams, it was probably a fair result.

“We will take the positives, we are unbeaten in five and we have to keep building.”