Following Saturday’s league defeat at home to Lincoln City, Tom Conlon was delighted with Vale’s response on Tuesday evening as they swept aside Middlesbrough U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The win ensures that the Valiants will be in the draw for the knockout stages of the competition, and despite Sky Bet League Two remaining the priority, the midfielder admits he and his teammates want to progress in the cup.
He said: “It was a good night and that’s exactly what we needed after Saturday, so to win the game was exactly what we set out to do.
“To score from a set piece is nice and getting both assists is a good feeling for me, but it’s positive for Ricky Miller to get another goal in this competition and help us get three points.
“I thought Luke Joyce was brilliant tonight as was Lewis Hardcastle. We played in a three and Joycey took up the deeper role, but he was excellent so we will see what happens on Saturday.
“It’s not a bad situation to be in at all. I didn’t know that the win had sent us through so that’s really good news, but we will have to see what happens in the next round now.
“You can get to Wembley through this competition so we take it very seriously. To get there as a player is a brilliant feeling and I’ve never done it, so I’d like to do that.”
Despite the routine feel to the 2-0 victory, Conlon insists that the young Middlesbrough side provided stiff opposition, but he believes that the Vale squad did well to nullify their threat.
He was also pleased to help his side keep a clean sheet, something which will give the defensive unit belief going into Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two fixture away at Oldham Athletic.
“I thought Middlesbrough started the game very well and I was surprised to be honest,” he said.
“They came flying out of the traps and they pressed very well, but we handled it and got on top - once that happened there was only going to be one winner.
“After the Lincoln game we had a chat as a team and it was great to bounce back with a win.
“Confidence is massive in football so the clean sheet gives us that, hopefully we can take that into Saturday.
“Oldham away will be a tough game, but hopefully we can take the positives into that and take all three points.”