Ben Purkiss decribed Port Vale’s display in their Emirates FA Cup defeat to Exeter City as ‘sloppy’.
The right back made his return to the starting line-up following a spell out of the side but couldn’t help prevent the loss.
Speaking to the press, the defender gave credit to the Grecians for their performance but was clearly disappointed with how the game panned out.
“For whatever reason we didn’t start particularly well and we went behind to a sloppy goal,” he said.
“Then I thought we were coming into the game just before half time, had an opportunity with Ajay which hits the bar.
“Second half we didn’t really get a foothold in the game. I thought they kept the ball really well, overloaded us in the middle of the park.
“I thought their clearances, they were cute and they retained possession, played the ball well and I felt we were a bit sloppy.”
Purkiss explained that the players must reflect on the defeat in the correct way, by evaluating themselves individually and collectively.
“Every game you lose you have to evaluate and reflect on,” he said. “Yes, you’ve let everyone down, of course but, number one, first and foremost, you’ve let yourself down.
“That’s the disappointing thing and that’s what you want from players, you want them to reflect, take responsibility and then hopefully learn from it and move on.”
The Valiants now have a full week of preparation ahead of their return to Sky Bet League One action against Scunthorpe United this weekend.
Purkiss insisted the hard work begins immediately in an effort to set the record straight.
“That starts now, it starts back in training and then we approach the week and look at Scunthorpe at home,” he commented.
“We’ve been strong at home and you look at the table and the league this year is there for the taking because I don’t think there’s a team that stands out.”