Neil Aspin has hailed his side’s performance versus Oxford United as the ‘best’ he has seen since he arrived at the club last month.
Despite the U’s plying their trade in Sky Bet League One, a division above Vale, it was the hosts who looked in control throughout and they deserved the victory.
Vale Park was in jubilant mood following the full-time whistle as goals from Gavin Gunning and Tom Pope saw the Valiants progress into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup.
“I am really delighted with the performance, that was the best since I’ve been at the club,” said Aspin.
“The players have had a lot of criticism this year, but now is a time to give them some praise because I thought they were excellent, from the goalkeeper and all the way through.
“It was a fully deserved victory, and if anything, we could have scored a few more goals. But, they deserve all of the credit tonight - the lads were excellent.”
Following the defeat to Swindon Town in Sky Bet League Two last time out, Aspin wanted to see a reaction from his squad and he certainly got that.
He said: “Against Swindon, I thought the players let themselves down and I know they’re a lot better than they showed in that game - they proved that tonight.”