Pope's reaction to Vale's 5-3 defeat
Striker Tom Pope was pleased with Vale’s overall performance despite the Valiants losing 5-3 at home to Championship side Derby County.
Pope grabbed two goals to give Vale a 3-1 half-time lead but a host of changes to the Derby starting line-up showed in the second-half as Vale’s players were pushed through their fitness levels.
“It was a very entertaining game for the neutrals and it was nice to get a couple of goals, but obviously to concede five goals is something we have got to look at and something we are going to have to put right before the start of the season,” said Pope.
He added: “We played some good stuff against a very good side but there are quite a few things we need to work on and hopefully we can sort them out.”
Defender Liam Chilvers was the only player subbed at half-time as manager Micky Adams looked to push his players physically against a freshened Derby side in the second-half.
Striker Pope believes that the players will be better for the extended run-out.
“It doesn’t matter how hard you work during pre-season when you’ve got players of the quality they had coming on and certainly the two goals after half-time were two wonder strikes that nine times out of 10 don’t go in the top corner.
“They bought a lot of fresh legs on in the last half-an-hour and it was a lot more difficult than it was at the start of the game,” he said.
“It helps with fitness, the gaffer wants us tired, that’s something we’ve got to do, run around when we are tired. It’s something that is going to happen during the season and that’s what we work hard for.
“It goes from feeling tired at 60 minutes to 70 to 80 and then going through a game so that’s what we are going to work on.”