Midfielder Will Atkinson admitted the team were brought back down to earth after the excitement of facing Manchester City against Salford yesterday but hopes results will return in the league which is the priority for the club.
The Vale were subject to a 3-0 defeat on the road at Salford in the third round of the Leasing.com Trophy, a game where missed chances and sloppy defending were at fault in the eyes of Atkinson.
After an exciting week for the club where they travelled to the Etihad to take on Man City, Atkinson expressed how the defeat acted as a reality check for the players who now have to turn their attention to success in the league.
The midfielder emphasised how the league is the number one focus and area where success is required, with the removal of other competitions now allowing for the team to put 100% into climbing the table.
With a trip to Stevenage set for Saturday, Atkinson discussed how the team need to move forward and make sure they perform in the league.
He said: “Back down to earth with a bang really, it’s one of those things, it’s football, we’re in League Two and at times we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and fight for every inch.
“We knew it was going to be a little bit of a scrappy game tonight, the pitch wasn’t great, I think it’s a tale of what happened in both boxes, we didn’t defend our box well enough and we weren’t clinical enough in their box and that’s an important part of football.
“You want to win every game as a sportsperson, you want to be successful, you want to keep that momentum going, but the league is the bread and butter so that’s the important one.
“The festive period; it’s great to have all these games, it’s great for the fans, it’s great for everyone involved, but we’re back to Saturday-Tuesday’s now so I’m looking forward to getting back to a little bit of normality and hopefully pushing up that league.”
Before the game Atkinson extended his stay at Vale Park to the end of the season, and made it clear how happy he is to be staying at the club.
He added how he wants to help the club climb the table and achieve a strong finish in the league, with the aim of obtaining the Play-Off’s and promotion a growing goal for the side.
The team must not get carried away however according to Atkinson, who stressed how they must remain focussed and dig in, in order to hit their biggest goals.
He said: “I’m delighted to have the extension, I want to thank the club, I want to thank the manager for showing a little bit of faith in me and it’s up to me now to repay that, try and push on and hopefully get in this team and help this team get to where they want to be.
“The expectations [of promotion] are going to be there, they come with results and performances so yeah we’ve done well up to this point but we need to be realistic and know that every game is going to be a battle.
“We’re quietly confident with our team and our squad so there’s no reason why we can’t be quietly confident in ourselves… there’s nothing wrong with a bit of expectation and a bit of pressure, it’s how you become successful so bring it on.”