Manager John Askey believes that last night’s defeat on the road will act as a learning curve for the team going forward.
Last night the Valiants took on table topping Exeter City at St James Park and suffered a 2-0 defeat thanks to late goals from Ryan Bowman and Lee Martin.
Vale went into the game with five players missing and were able to keep the unbeaten Grecians at bay for the majority of the game before they finally found a breakthrough late on.
The gaffer was disappointed with the result and also how his side performed, feeling as though they struggled in the first-half and was annoyed by the manner of how the first goal was scored.
Askey did commend the attitudes of some players for their efforts at the back in preventing the hosts taking an earlier lead, but said the squad will learn from the game and need to make sure they compete with the teams right at the top of the league.
The importance of taking every chance you get in games like yesterday was again highlighted by the gaffer, as opportunities are few and far between.
He said: “First-half we weren’t quite at it, we rode our luck a little bit, people threw their bodies on the line in and around the box which was pleasing but we didn’t compete well in the first-half even though we came in 0-0.
“A lot again to learn from, playing teams like this who go from back to front quickly and compete for the second ball and we’ve got to start doing better against these types of teams.
“We had one or two [chances] and you have got to take them, we’ve said that before in previous games, that changes the game completely as it would’ve done against Newport.”
Although disappointed with the result and chance conversation, the boss did praise his side for how hard they worked and battled across the 90 minutes in a challenging game with unfortunate circumstances regarding the injuries.
The gaffer said focus now has to turn to Saturday’s game at home to Mansfield Town, where they will look to bounce back and continue their unbeaten home run this season.
The home form has been the focus, with the Vale winning all but one of their games at Vale Park this season, and Askey is hopeful they can use yesterday’s game to help pick up another three points.
He said: “One thing with the players, they dug in and you couldn’t have asked any more from them really.
“Disappointing, but obviously we played against a decent side again tonight, so if we can get something Saturday then it won’t have been such a bad two or three weeks.
“We’ve got to forget about tonight now, try and learn from it and put everything again into Saturday’s game.”