Vale boss reflects on defeat at Rochdale on SaturdayPort Vale manager, Rob Page was frustrated with his side’s decision making in the 2-1 defeat to Rochdale on Saturday afternoon.
The Valiants took the lead at Spotlands Stadium through a Chris Birchall goal but were pegged back by an Ian Henderson penalty before a second-half strike from substitute, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing sealed the points for Rochdale.
Vale were reduced to ten-men in the final moments of the game when Carl Dickinson was sent off but Rob Page believes that his side could have taken at least a point from the fixture.
Speaking to the media after the game, he said:
“I thought we created chances to win the game. At 1-1, we scored a great first goal, Birchy (Birchall) did exactly what I have asked him to and Sam Foley coming in, times his run to perfection, Chris gets a great finish.
“We got two opportunities to take the lead twice, a free header from eight yards out and we hit the bar and then Uche (Ikpeazu) does ever so well, goes around the lad, he’s got a square pass to Doddsy (Dodds) for a tap in, he’s decided to shoot, it’s gone out for a corner so if we had better decision making in vital areas, we go on to win the game.”
After netting his second goal in two games, Page was full of praise for winger, Chris Birchall.
“Like I keep saying about Birchy, he is a great lad, he is a great character in that changing room. He kept doing it in pre-season. We wanted to change the way that we played slightly moving forward with getting Doddsy on the ball wide then coming in off the shape and getting the ball in between full-back and centre-half. He bought into that straight away, I think he enjoys playing like that instead of being an out and out wideman on the outside and he got his goal from doing that today.
The gaffer admits that the sending off given to Dickinson is something that the club will just have to ‘get on with’ as the defender serves a three-match suspension. Page admits that the absence of his captain will be a huge miss to the side in their upcoming games.
“I think we have just got to get on with it. We will make that decision (whether to challenge the decision) in the week but I think looking back at it we have just got to get on with it.
“He has been in good form this season so of course he will be missed. Anyone that goes out of the side at the minute will be missed. It is what it is, we cannot change it, we have got to get on with it and do the best we can now to bounce back from this.”
The side will be boosted by the return of winger Byron Moore though after he sat out Saturday's defeat with a hamstring injury.
"It is not a bad one at all, that is why we did not want to have any knee-jerk reactions to that, we have got him back for next week. It was a case of missing this one instead of him playing and being out for three or four weeks.