Pope happy with goal unhappy with defeat
Tom Pope admits he is happy to be off the mark after scoring a late consolation goal for Vale in the 3-1 defeat to Wolves, the forward bagged his first goal of the season with a close-range header.
He told Valiant Player: “It is great to get off the mark, it has been a long time coming but I am disappointed with the result.
“I tried to not let it worry me, I got 33 goals last year and went 11 or 12 games without one so we’re only four or five games into the season, it’s nice and hopefully it will get me on a good run now and there will be a lot more to come,” he explained.
“I am a confidence player but at the same time I’ve had a couple of headers these last couple of weeks, last season they would have gone in.
“It’s fine lines, that one has gone in today.”
Vale were undone by slick counter-attacking football from Wolves and found themselves three down before Pope’s late goal.
Leigh Griffith scored Wolves’ first from a counter-attack and Bjorn Sigurdarson doubled the visitor’s lead thanks to an unfortunate deflection off goalkeeper Chris Neal.
New signing Kevin McDonald scored another runaway goal as Vale’s defence were opened up on the counter-attack as they searched for a way back into the match.
Pope believes the score line didn’t reflect the chances Vale had in the match.
Pope explained: “I don’t think there were three goals in it, bar the goals Neal hasn’t really had a save to make but their quality came through in the end.
“At one nil Lofty has had a great effort and hit the post and it’s come back at him and he’s fired it over and then Williamson has hit great volley against the inside of the post.
“We battled hard, the gaffer has told us to get in their faces and squeeze the pitch.”
Pope admits that Wolves’ quality across the pitch shone through in the end.
“I think the effort and the enthusiasm of the lads really showed, I think the worse thing that happened was the winger getting injured, forcing us just on half-time to change our shape and we had to match them up in the second-half,” Pope said afterwards.
“Their quality shone through, it’s difficult playing against players like Kevin Doyle and players like Lee Griffiths who is going to have a great future.”