Striker admits Vale were below par
Tom Pope revealed the gaffer gave every player in the team a blast after the game on Sunday – nobody was safe from an ear-bashing in the dressing room after the game.
The Vale striker said: “I think he’s gone through the whole team and it is deserved as well. The second half performance was nowhere near the standard we have set ourselves.
“We can’t afford to play like that, even against teams from a league below. In the second half we looked like a League Two side playing away and they looked like the League One home side.
“It’s something we have got to put right, but fortunately for us we did enough in the first half to still be in the hat and still have a chance to get through to the fourth round.
“They were going to have an ear-bashing at half time and come out with a second wind and try and kick on early doors and as a home team that is two-nil up, even though they are a team from a league below you have got to weather that five or ten minute spell and then kick on again.
“From the first whistle in the second half they came at us and we couldn’t cope with them – it finished two all and they could have won the game. We have got to be thankful in the end that we are still in the tie.
“At half time the gaffer spent fourteen out if the fifteen minutes telling us that ‘This tie is not over, we need to kick on and get another goal’ but we didn’t do that.
“We didn’t do anywhere near enough and the gaffer is disappointed in us and I am sure all the lads are disappointed in themselves.”
goal of the season, his first for five games and he says he is glad to be back on the score –sheet.thPope put Vale two-nil up when he headed home his 11
He said: You want to score in every game - it’s nice after a few games to get back on the score sheet. It’s fortunate I have scored or we would be out of the competition.
“It was nice to get over that spell, especially after having a poor game against Preston, but we can’t keep doing what we are doing and conceding goals the way we are.
“We are conceding goals too cheaply – even last year when we got promoted we were winning games four-three and that’s not just the back four, it’s the whole side as a team.
“We started this season pretty much the same, not keeping many clean sheets and sides are getting quite a few opportunities and it has been difficult, but I am sure we will work on that and try and put it right.”