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Interviews

Neil Aspin reflects on the draw with Morecambe

4 February 2018

Neil Aspin was left disappointed that his Port Vale side didn't secure all three points at home to Morecambe on Saturday afternoon, but he acknowledges that the result could prove to be an important one come the end of the season.

On an afternoon where both teams had opportunities to snatch a winner, it was the Valiants who were almost left celebrating late on as Tom Pope headed just wide.

Rob Lainton was required to tip a Gregg Wylde strike onto the bar in the first half, however, and the manager was pleased with the goalkeeper's contribution, along with Charlie Raglan who made his debut in the heart of the defence.

"Rob has showed a lot of character today because I was disappointed with his performance last week and he was himself," the manager said.

"We have shown faith in him and he repaid us because he had a very good game. I'm pleased for him that he has been rewarded with a clean sheet.

"I thought Charlie was also excellent today, he looked very composed at the back and he is obviously a good player. He will help strengthen the defence and he did well alongside Nathan Smith who played well as well.

"Clean sheets are vital and they are going to help us pick up points, but we have got to create more chances going forward as an attacking threat."

The point sees Vale move seven points clear of the bottom two in Sky Bet League Two, and with two successive draws on home soil, Aspin will be hoping his side can go one better and win away at Cheltenham Town next weekend.

He said: "Obviously we wanted to win the game today and it's frustrating that we aren't winning at the moment, but when you look at the respective positions of ourselves and Morecambe, it was vital that we didn't lose.

"In the first half they had the better chances and we could have found ourselves behind at half-time. We improved in the second half, but we are going through a difficult spell and the confidence we had in December has faded.

"We have to keep battling in every game from now until the end of the season because they are all going to be tight, scrappy affairs. We need a win to give everybody a lift, but nobody is going to give us anything for free and we have to make sure we fight."

Given the fact Vale went close on several occasions during a second half in which they controlled proceedings, the gaffer believes his men were unlucky not to have won the game.

On the final 45 minutes, he said: "We were better in the second half and we did look the more likely to score, but we need to be putting together a consistent performance over the 90 minutes.

"We need to come off thinking we have done more than enough to win a game. The second half was better, but the first was poor and we have got to ensure we start matches better than we did today."


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