Manager praises players and supporters after defeat at promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers but says his side must stop being a hard-luck story in the final quarter of the season.
- Darrell Clarke | “Not a lot I can fault about our performance”
- Port Vale manager speaks to the media following 2-1 defeat at Bolton Wanderers in League One
- Clarke: “A massive thank you to the excellent support that we brought here today, they got behind the lads all game and it was a performance from the lads that probably warranted more.”
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke felt his side deserved more from a spirited performance at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.
Ellis Harrison gave the Vale the lead as Clarke’s side flew out of the blocks and created three good chances inside the first ten minutes.
However, Victor Adeboyejo and Josh Sheehan goals had the hosts in front before the half hour, with Vale going close to an equaliser on a number of occasions but couldn’t prevent Bolton from strengthening their grip on fourth place in League One.
Speaking post-match, Clarke said:
“There is not a lot I can fault about the performance other than being soft for what I think might have been their only two shots on target. We have to defend better than that.
“For my team to come here, have a right go and be on the front foot for most of the game, to not get anything is an absolute travesty, to be honest with you.
“A massive thank you to the excellent support that we brought here today, they got behind the lads all game and it was a performance from the lads that probably warranted more.
“We put some good moves together; we have just not defended for five or ten minutes of the game that we needed to defend, a little bit similar to Tuesday night against Morecambe with all our territory but we have to stop being a little bit soft at the other end.”
Clarke’s side could count themselves hard done to that they didn’t leave with more from a game in which they were the better side for the most part, though the manager added his side have to stop being the unlucky side.
“There’s no panic about our situation,” he explained. “We are on 40 points with 25% of the season to go and I would have snapped your hand off for that at the start of the season, so we will just build towards the next game.
“We have had a lot of disappointing results in the third quarter, as I call it, we have warranted a lot more but we have to stop being a hard luck story and make sure that we pick up as many points as we can in the last 12.”
Clarke started Harrison and Matty Taylor together for the first time since the latter joined the Vale on loan from Oxford United and the manager added the duo will be important in the final 12 matches for his side.
“I thought Matty Taylor was outstanding, Ellis was outstanding and having 9s at the top of the pitch is going to help us no doubt,” he continued. “The team will keep working hard and the boys are giving me everything. I can’t fault the effort, commitment or desire, the want to win – I really can’t – and we’ll go again.”