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Clarke verdict on Carlisle stalemate

18 April 2021

Vale remain unbeaten in the last seven games, as Darrell Clarke's side try to pick up as many points as possible before the conclusion of the Sky Bet League Two season.

Clarke was pleased with a point on reflection with the home team having a lot of the ball in the first half, but not managing to overly test Scott Brown in goal. The shutout in Cumbria was the Valiants' fourth consecutive clean sheet - the last time a Vale side managed five was back in September 2010.

“It’s a battling point isn’t it, we’re obviously disappointed not to win the game but I thought first half they were the better team. Second half we’ve had a couple of better chances than them and Browny hasn’t had a lot of work to do.

“So, from my perspective against a team I think that’s top of the table in their own home form in the league we’ve come here and done what a lot of other teams haven’t done and that’s shut them out."

Clarke applauded his players for the defensive work, dealing with everything Carlisle threw at them and forcing the opposition to settle for shots from distance. There were times in the second half where Vale did get the ball down and play which created those few opportunities to get a winner against a team with their eyes on the playoff places.

“The long throws were coming in the box but we’ve defended superbly, even first half they’ve had a couple of long-range shots but nothing really troubling us too much. We raised the quality a little bit at times, settle it down and find a pass or two and I thought we did that in the second half in spells. They came again at the end, as you’d expect for a team that’s trying to chase into the top seven.

“Four clean sheets on the spin and I don’t think its changed since I’ve come in the door. I made us ugly, hard to beat, aggressive and that’s why we’ve picked up the points and the wins that we have. The group has done tremendous with that, with the defensive structure of the side of the game and obviously we need to do plenty of work on the going forward side of our game."

The boss spoke about the record which could have been clinched today but was very pleased with the point against a team well in form and just two points outside the playoff places. He also touched on what he was looking at in the next four games in terms of personnel and systems before the end of the season.

“We’d have liked to have got the 1893 record, we built that up before the game but we know Carlisle are no mugs. They’re on a good run of form themselves in the last four or five games so we knew it was going to be a test, I’m sure we’re more pleased with the point than they are.

“Just looking at one or two different things, one or two more players in the next four games will get certain minutes."

Vale are back in midweek action for the 7pm kick off away at Barrow. To purchase an iFollow match pass click here.


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