After returning from suspension, Antony Kay was pleased to make his return in a Vale shirt during Tuesday night's Carabao Cup defeat at home to Lincoln City, but the result left a sour taste in the mouth for the midfielder.
The 35-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Neil Aspin's men bowed out of the competition and he almost got on the scoresheet as he crashed an effort off the bar in the second half, but the night ended in disappointment.
"We have lost 4-0 and it is a bit saddening. Luckily it is not in the league, but we just have to come back on Saturday in a positive mood now," he said.
"The timing when we gave away the goals, at the beginning of the first and the beginning of the second half, was crucial. I thought for a lot of the second half we were in the game, but we could not score. It was at both ends, we couldn't find the net and were sloppy at the back.
"The scoreline is probably a little bit biased, in that the goals we did concede were our own fault. We had chances and have not put them away. There were a lot of balls that flashed across the goal, but I didn't think anyone anticipated them and it just wasn't dropping for us.
On his return, he added: "I have tried to come in training and impress. I had a three-game ban from last season and the gaffer has brought a lot of new players in which strengthens each position, so if you do have a bad game you will be out of the team and new players can come in. It was vital for me today to come in and try to prove a point, but we have lost."
With Crawley Town up next for the Valiants in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon, Kay insists that the squad will put the defeat to one side and focus on how they can improve ahead of the clash against the Red Devils when three points will be up for grabs.
Following the loss to Colchester United in the league last weekend, the experienced figure is hoping that the lessons learned will provide added incentive as Vale chase their second win of the 2018/19 campaign.
He said: "There were obviously mistakes out there tonight, but it's good that we have a game coming up on Saturday now. You can't be too negative, I think the manager's thoughts are looking forward to the Crawley game.
"It's early in the season and it's probably good that it is happening now because teams do have flaws, especially at this stage. It probably takes a few games to find them out and hopefully we do that.
"It starts on Thursday, coming in training we need to be bright and positive. I think the players that show that out there in training, the gaffer is going to pick them.
"We have got a lot of experienced players in there, but the young players have to stand up as well, which they are doing. They need to look and learn from the older players and try to step in.
'We had a great start against Cambridge and then stepped off it a little bit in the last away game which got us a loss, then there was this tonight.
"If we do win on Saturday it will be two wins out of three in the league which we would be happy about. We just need to try to get this result out of our minds and concentrate on the next one."