A boisterous 8,000 travelling Valiants backed the players at the Etihad Stadium yesterday evening and they received nothing but praise from the gaffer.
The 8,000 Vale fans who made the trip to Manchester City yesterday were part of the biggest away attendance ever at the Etihad Stadium, and it’s safe to say they made their voices heard as they sang non-stop throughout the 90 minutes.
The noise after Tom Pope scored that wonderful equaliser was deafening, and Askey emphasises how important it was not to sit back at the home of the current FA Cup and Premier League champions, and give the travelling fans something to cheer about.
It was a near sell-out at the Etihad, and despite being heavily outnumbered by City fans, Askey explains how the Vale fans made it seem like a home game.
“It feels as though we were the home team, but throughout the game, even when we were 4-1 down the support was fantastic.
“They can see how much the players have put in and we were trying to score goals, we didn’t come here to sit back, obviously at times we got penned back but when we got opportunities to go forward we did and that’s what I wanted really so that the supporters did have something to shout for.
“It was fantastic to come out and the stadium was full because sometimes you’d come to a game like this and the home team don’t turn out, but to see the stadium full and to play the football we did and the support that we had, you couldn’t have asked for much more."
The fans' performance on the day was more than matched by the player’s performances on the pitch, and despite the result, the gaffer stresses that it’s 90 minutes the players can be proud of.
The Vale took the game to City within the first couple of minutes after Scott Burgess’s deflected shot earned the first corner of the match, and Askey explains that those opening stages gave the players belief that it was possible to go and attack the strong City side.
The Vale can even count themselves rather unlucky after City’s first goal took a huge deflection, and the next two were eventually awarded thanks to VAR, and the gaffer says he couldn’t be more proud of his players.
“Before the game you’re coming here and you’re just hoping that we don’t disappoint and get a trouncing, but it was far from that.
“The players played really well, and I started dreaming five minutes to go in the first-half when that goal went in from Popey [Tom Pope] and you couldn’t have asked for anything better.
“Even the three goals that the scored before the fourth, they were very avoidable. The shot that they had was going wide and it hit Leggey [Leon Legge] and gone in, and the other two were obviously VAR decisions, a whisker of being offside.
“Just really proud of how we’ve played and the support that we had today."