Yates admits Vale failed to unlock defence
Defender Adam Yates admits Vale failed to unlock the Walsall defence after the Valiants lost 2-1 at home against the Saddlers in the Capital One Cup first-round.
Ashley Hemmings gave Walsall the lead but the goalscoring exploits of defender Chris Robertson continued as he scored his first competitive Vale goal to add to his trio of pre-season strikes.
Vale had a controversial penalty appeal turned down when scorer Robertson was seemingly hauled to the ground inside the area. The referee waved away the appeals and Walsall duly ran down the pitch to score the winner, courtesy of James Baxendale after 83 minutes.
Yates said: “There are fine lines between success and failure and the lines are even finer in this league.
“Unfortunately tonight we couldn’t find the answer to unlock their defence.
“There is a step up in tempo, when we lose the ball it takes a little longer to get it back but we are used to hassling teams.
“I thought tonight there were a few opportunities to press them high up the pitch and we were unlucky not to get a couple more goals.”
Despite Vale failing to find the elusive goal that would have merited a confident performance Yates is still backing the Vale strikers to find the net regularly this season.
“I think we have got every type of striker, Lee Hughes might be getting on but he can come on and he’s a finisher and can upset people and take a chance, Pope is the same, Tomlin is the same, Jennison can make chances,” he said.
The right-back added: “Williamson’s pace is electric, I don’t think people realise just how strong he is, I would say he is probably the strongest forward that we have got at this club and he is certainly the quickest.”
With a trip to Colchester United awaiting Micky Adams’ side on Saturday Yates is confident the players he plays with daily can do the business in the goals department.
“People don’t realise just what these players can do sometimes, as a player training with them everyday I know if Ben Williamson comes on, any ball in behind he’s there first to.
“Any ball that is hung in the box, Tom Pope is likely to be on the end of.
“Lee Hughes and Gavin Tomlin are clever in making chances, we know what they can do.”