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Neil Aspin: "The players did me proud today"

21 October 2018

Neil Aspin has expressed his delight after last Saturday's 1-0 win over Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park, and has claimed the players did him proud following the victory.

Port Vale headed into the tie off the back of the 6-2 defeat at home to Lincoln City, and it was clear from the off that the players were desperate to put things right following last weekend's defeat.

Tom Pope gave the Valiants the lead in the 37th minute, slotting home a penalty after Luke Hannant was brought down inside the box, however, that doesn't tell the full story. Aspin's side put in a monumental defensive display, specifically in the second-half, in order to grind out their second away win of the season with every player in a Vale shirt giving their all for the cause.

Following the win, Aspin has claimed the win was just what his Vale side needed off the back of a couple disappointing results.

He said: "If ever we needed a result, it was today. Especially with the despair of last week, it's just what we needed.

"The main thing today, regardless of the result, was I needed the team to show not only the supporters, but myself that they were prepared to fight, scrap and battle to get a result, and they did that today.

"I'm really pleased as manager because the players did me proud today."

Theo Vassell played a starring role on Saturday afternoon and was rewarded for his performance by being voted Fan's Man of the Match. 

The versatile defender was made to wait for his debut for the club, having been sidelined for the opening few weeks of the league campaign, though was handed his full debut in Vale's 1-0 win over Burton Albion in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this season.

Following the cup fixture, Vassell has managed to nail down a place in Apin's side and has now made four starts in a row in all competitions for the Valiants. The boss has spoken on how impressed he was with the young defender following his performance against The Latics.

"Theo is a player that I had at Gateshead - he did really well for me and potentially, he's got all the attributes to make it as a footballer.

"He is a gamble because he's come from non-league but now he's had a really good game. He had a difficult game in terms of the result against Lincoln, but I wouldn't blame him for that defeat.

"Then I thought he was excellent in the mid-week game playing as a left-centre back in the back of a three which is probably his best position. 

"Today he's played at wing-back and he's done really well so he's only going to get better."


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