Neil Aspin has lauded Port Vale’s second half performance as they came from behind to earn a point away to an in-form Colchester United side.
The Valiants have now picked up seven points from their last three fixtures in Sky Bet League Two, leaving the manager in positive mood going into Christmas.
“I was very pleased with the performance in the second half, but the first half I thought we could’ve done better,” he said.
“In the second half the players did everything that I asked of them, dominating the game against a good side, and we fully deserved to get something from it.
“They’re a very honest group and they give their all every game which is what you need when you’re in a scrap, but in the second half we showed some decent quality.
“We put them under pressure, stayed on the front foot and put lots of crosses into the box - we did enough, certainly in the second 45, to pick up points in this league.”
Similarly to last weekend’s trip to Carlisle United, Tyrone Barnett was introduced as a half-time substitute and he added an extra threat in the final third.
Aspin utilised a different formation to the one which brought success at Brunton Park, and he was pleased with the problems his front line posed upon the Colchester defence.
He said: “It was a change in formation, but it was a different one to last week and we certainly caused them more problems with the two strikers.
“Tyler Denton then came on and he got himself a great assist for the goal.”
It was Marcus Harness who nodded home Vale’s equaliser in the 76th minute, making it two goals in all competitions for the winger, something Aspin insists will boost his confidence.
“Marcus has worked exceptionally hard since I’ve been at the club and you can never doubt his work rate and commitment,” he said.
“The only thing that was lacking was end product, but now he’s got a couple of goals so he will be growing in confidence.
“He’s starting to show his better form now and he looks like a good player. If you work as hard as he has, you deserve to get your reward.”
Vale return to home soil on Boxing Day as the busy festive schedule continues, but Aspin is wary of the threat Coventry City face.
He said: “I think all the games are difficult and you wouldn’t expect me to say anything other than that.
“Coventry are a team that are doing well and they’re probably one of the fancied teams. It’s a big club with history and tradition, and it’s a good game to have on Boxing Day.
“Hopefully we can put on a good display in front of our home supporters.”