Assistant manager reflects on back-to-back home League One victories as the Vale seal 1-0 win against Charlton Athletic.
- Andy Crosby | “I admire our resilience and the togetherness - you don’t get that at a lot of football clubs”
- Port Vale assistant manager reflects on his side’s 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic in League One
- Crosby: “I am delighted with every single one of them. I don’t think Charlton had many opportunities; we handled the physical threat of [Jayden] Stockley and [Chuks] Aneke when he came on, they have pace on the side of the pitch that we did really well defending one-v-one against and forced the ball into areas of the pitch we wanted to.”
Port Vale assistant manager Andy Crosby was full of praise for the way in which his side executed their gameplan to defeat Charlton Athletic 1-0 at Vale Park on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors had lost just once in their last ten fixtures coming into the game, but the Vale nullified the threats of a team that had more different goalscorers (14) this season than any other League One side.
Reflecting post-match with iFollow the Vale, Crosby said:
“[We were] disciplined without the ball, compact without the ball, forced the ball to certain areas of the pitch that we wanted it to go to.
“We were really good at defending our box and nullifying the opposition’s threats and were better in the second half in the transition and on the counter attack – connecting the game - and then taking the moment when it materialised.
“Dan [Butterworth] travelled a long way with the ball and executes a great finish. I am delighted for the whole group; I admire the resilience, the togetherness, you don’t get that at a lot of football clubs.”
The Vale were enjoying plenty of final third entries as the game developed, though the game’s major moment of quality came just before the hour mark as Butterworth fired in his second goal in as many home League One games.
“[At half-time] We just spoke about one or two details, which we did pre-game, let the lads see a few visuals and spoke about connecting the game,” Crosby explained. “You want to take advantage when there is a turnover and go forward as quickly as you can but maybe we were too rushed in the first-half and didn’t spend long enough with the ball.
“When you are defending against a possession-based team, you need to nullify that threat and stop the game becoming two and three minutes without the ball; we were better in the second-half and we just thought there would be one moment. Thankfully, Dan [Butterworth] has carried the ball over a big distance, created an opportunity for himself and thankfully executed it very well.”
On the Vale’s on loan Blackburn Rovers forward, Crosby continued:
“Dan has incredible talent in possession; he can create chances, he can score, he can play the final pass, that is not in any doubt. He has got to add other things to his game to become a more all-around player, but he has a desire to improve and credit to him.”
When asked about the performances of midfield duo Ben Garrity and Tom Conlon, Crosby added:
“I think with Corey [Blackett-Taylor] coming into the team for Charlton, we spoke about the threat of the counter-attack from their left and we had to be really organised behind the ball.
“We changed one or two things pre-game so it was more Ben [Garrity] outside the box than Wozza [David Worrall]; we thought we could exploit them back post with crosses, but we also had to be wary of the counter-attack because he has got incredible pace. Ben did a great job and the skipper [Tom Conlon] was absolutely incredible today and epitomises everything that is good about our group.”
The Vale kept back-to-back home League One clean sheets for the first time this season in a battling display, responding well to last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Oxford United.
“We said in the week that whichever 11 players are out on the pitch, it is not about relying on six or seven to keep a clean sheet, it has to be collective,” Crosby said.
“The whole group have to contribute to keeping a clean sheet; it is not just about the goalkeeper or the defenders – that is where the finger generally gets pointed – it is about everyone fulfilling their role for the team. That is just as it is when we get the ball back; everyone has to be a creative part of the team as well.
“I am delighted with every single one of them. I don’t think they had many opportunities; we handled the physical threat of [Jayden] Stockley and [Chuks] Aneke when he came on, they have pace on the side of the pitch that we did really well defending one-v-one against and forced the ball into areas of the pitch we wanted to.”