Manager delighted with performance but not resultManager Rob Page emphasised just how good a resistant defensive performance it was from his 10-man Port Vale side, despite falling to a 2-0 defeat at Burton Albion on Saturday.
After Uche Ikpeazu saw red midway through the first half, Page’s side had even more of a challenge on their hands at the Pirelli Stadium. However, their bravery in defence wasn’t enough to resist the 70 minute onslaught from the Brewers, as the home team finally broke the deadlock with 10 minutes left, as Tom Naylor poked home a Zeli Ismail cross.
The Valiants were just starting to build some momentum of their own after Robbie Weir also saw red after a dangerous challenge on Sam Foley but Vale could not capitalise.
Nasser El Khayati sealed the three points with three minutes left on the clock as he weaved his way past Ben Purkiss to slot the ball underneath the oncoming Alnwick.
However, despite the result, Page stayed optimistic as he praised his team performance: “To ask the lads to go and do what they’ve done for a large part of the game with 10 men, they had to work their socks off, and they’ve given me absolutely everything today.”
Page continued: “As I’ve just said to them in the changing room, you give a performance like that, when they’re throwing their bodies on the line in defence, its harsh to come away with a 2-0 defeat.
"To play a large part of the game with 10 men, it’s a big ask for anybody. They’ve given me everything today.”
When asked about the fans, Page said:
“We’re all frustrated, but its important we all stick together and get through this tough spell. Vocally, the fans were superb today; they really got behind the lads. They could see and appreciate the work ethic the lads put into that performance.”
Nevertheless, Page leaves us thinking that the hard work isn’t going to stop any time soon:
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves now, only we can change it, we’ll put the effort in and put it right on Saturday, we’ll keep going until we do.”