The Valiants claimed a comfortable victory at home on Saturday afternoon as a brace from Tom Pope and a Ben Whitfield volley proved enough to see off Cheltenham Town.
Kevin Dawson did find a consolation for the Robins deep into stoppage time, but Neil Aspin’s men ran out deserved 3-1 winners.
Following their first full week of training under the new manager, Vale’s players put in a dominant performance, but Whitfield’s stunning strike was the highlight of a positive afternoon.
“I got winded in the process, it came back and fired me in the belly,” said Whitfield, reflecting on his goal.
“When I saw it drop, I’m always shooting from there - no matter where it is on the pitch, I’m going to have a go.
“It just sat nicely for me, I connected with it and it’s gone in.”
On the overall performance, Whitfield was delighted with the application of his teammates as they picked up their first victory on home soil.
He said: “I thought we played very well and we scored three times today which is pleasing. Conceding at the end was unlucky, but that’s the only downfall from the game.
“It was massive to pick up three points, the gaffer has come in, he’s implemented his philosophy and that showed out there.
“We got the ball out wide quickly and the formation gives us licence to get forward, get on the receiving end and sneak the ball from behind them too - it worked perfectly.”
Whitfield also spared a moment to thank the ‘brilliant’ supporters who came to Vale Park to get behind the team, acknowledging that they can play a big part moving forward.
“They were brilliant today, non-stop chanting and singing and they deserved a win,” he said.
“They’ve supported us through the rough times we’ve had previously this season and now we’ve got the three points for them.
“When they’re getting behind you when you go over to take a corner or anything, it just gives you a big lift.
“With Popey for the two goals, you heard them chanting his name and that’s just what the lads need.”
The midfielder received a standing ovation himself when he was substituted late on, something which he is very grateful for.
He said: “It was brilliant. It’s good when the fans like you and to get the win for them today was great for us.”
Morecambe away from home is next up for the Valiants on Tuesday night, but Whitfield is just asking for more of the same from the team.
“We will approach it the same way, go again and another three points would be nice to push us up the table."