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Mark Cullen impressed by the “character” of the squad after Bury game

28 July 2019

Goalscorer, Mark Cullen thought that the team reacted “quite well” in their final game of pre-season against League 1 Bury and looks towards the new season.

Acknowledging how difficult the first-half of the game had been for the Valiants after a disappointing performance left them 2-0 down, Cullen highligted how good the mentality of the players was to fight back and battle into the game for the second period.

The uphill battle offered Vale the opportunity to display that they are able to overcome these sort of difficult moments and further prepare them for the league campaign.

The striker believed the performance was important for the upcoming campaign as it was the first real test they had had during pre-season of trying to get back into a game, a situation that he knows will happen at times during the season.

He said: “It was a good test against a Bury team that are trying to impress the manager themselves.

“It was a different type of game to what we’ve had over the course of pre-season.

“We reacted quite well and in the second-half we played a lot better.

“In a season you’re going to go one goal, two goals down, and you can’t give up, you’ve got to keep going, and I think we did, we showed we can pull ourselves into a game like that.”

Cullen, along with Tom Pope and James Gibbons, entered the field at half-time and played a key role in helping to take control of the match, finding the back of the net twice, with the first being ruled out for offside, before making the score 2-1.

His goal came when Pope’s ball into the box caused confusion between the goalkeeper and defender, and Cullen was able to take advantage and poke the ball into the back of the net, something which gave the striker more confidence for the season.

Cullen also stated how he and the rest of the squad know that the hardest work is still to come with the start of the season just around the corner, but he knows they will work hard and are looking forward to the new campaign.

He said: “As a striker you want to score, whether it’s a tap in or a 30 yarder, a goals a goal.

“It all starts for proper next Saturday, and we’ll be doing everything we can to try and get the points.

“We’ll come in on Monday and I’m sure we’ll start working on something, maybe what we’re going to do on Saturday.

“Near the back end of the of the week you start to zone in and realise that the game’s a proper game and there’s three points up for grabs, and that’s what we play football for.”


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