Manager reflects on defeat at Lincoln City as the Valiants finish with nine men at the LNER Stadium.
- Darrell Clarke | “We can’t expect anybody to help us, we have to get ourselves out of this rut”
- Port Vale manager reflects on his side’s 3-2 defeat at Lincoln City in League One
- Clarke: “We have to come out fighting, like we did today. The boys have given everything for the shirt. One or two things are obviously not going for us but we have to keep that belief and make sure we can try to put in a good performance on Tuesday.”
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke cut a frustrated figure as his side were defeated 3-2 at Lincoln City on Saturday afternoon.
The Valiants led 2-1 following Danny Butterworth’s first-half strike, though Tom Conlon controversially received a red card seconds after the Blackburn Rovers loanee’s goal, with the Imps then levelling before half-time and scoring a winner after Sammy Robinson was dismissed for a second yellow card in the second half.
Speaking immediately after the game, Clarke said:
“I am speechless to be honest, absolutely devastated. We have to pick ourselves up very quickly. We still have work to do and we have one of the best teams in the league on Tuesday night. So, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.
“I can’t explain a lot of the decisions in the game but I will go and see the referee in ten or 15 minutes to see what they have to say about it.
“I think it was eight yellow and three red cards…but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, that’s the main thing.
“We certainly shot ourselves in the foot as well. Sammy [Robinson] is a young lad but he has to be more disciplined than that. He has apologised to the lads which is fair play to him but he has to learn from that very quickly because that left us with a mountain to climb.
“We can’t expect anybody to help us, we have to get ourselves out of this rut. We have work to do to stay in the division, we are well aware of that and have been for the last few weeks.
“We have to come out fighting, like we did today. The boys have given everything for the shirt. One or two things are obviously not going for us but we have to keep that belief and make sure we can try to put in a good performance on Tuesday."
Following the dismissal of Conlon and with the sides going in level at the break, Clarke made three changes at half-time, in a switch that looked like it may off as Robinson had a glorious chance to score before his dismissal in the latter stages.
“I thought it gave us impetus and I thought we controlled large parts of the second half. Sammy had a great chance,” Clarke explained. “We needed legs in midfield and my only other midfielder – Tom Conlon - has got sent off, so you are forced to play a 4-3-2. We wanted to keep two centre forwards up and have a right good go.
“I will pick the bones through my own performance and my staff’s but it was one of those days where football really kicks you in the teeth.
“It is tough. I thought our fans were absolutely magnificent again for us, absolutely outstanding. We thank them for their support and ask them to stick with us for the last four games.”