Neil Aspin admits ‘relief’ after Port Vale secured their Football League status yesterday following a 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town.
Tom Pope’s 89th minute equaliser secured safety for The Valiants in dramatic fashion, as Vale climbed seven points clear with just two games remaining.
It was a frustrating game for both sets of supporters with so much stake, but Pope’s header allowed the celebrations to begin – much to the delight of everyone.
Speaking after the game, the gaffer has credited supporters with their fantastic efforts since he joined the club.
He said: “I’d like to thank the supporters.
“It’s not only been a difficult season, but a difficult number of years. They’ve had nothing to shout about and when we had the meeting with the chairman on that Thursday night, we weren’t winning games.
“I had a lot of support from the fans and it meant a lot. But, we have to improve results to give them something to cheer about. The fans were brilliant today, it makes a huge difference and they will be delighted that it was Popey who scored it.”
During the game in Nottinghamshire, Aspin admits that his side weren’t fully at the races but was pleased to take a point which secured safety.
“The finish to the game was a lot better than the actual game,” he said.
“I didn’t think we played well at all, we were very poor. We got the point that we needed and we’re all relieved. I’m grateful for the efforts of the players, they have worked really hard to make sure we preserve our league status.
“After the start we had, we have achieved our job.”
With two games left for The Valiants, Aspin hopes that his side can finish the season on a positive note by hosting Carlisle United next Saturday and travelling to Cambridge United for the penultimate game of the 2017/18 League Two campaign.
He added: “It doesn’t do anyone good to end the season on a couple of poor performances.
“We might look at doing something else for the last two games to finish off the season. We want a good performance for the final home game, but today, we can breathe a sigh of relief.
“We can now look ahead instead of breathing over our shoulders and we can now have a good night sleep and relax.”