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Pugh and Sinclair react to defeat at Scunthorpe

27 January 2021

Following Port Vale’s midweek 2-0 defeat on the road to Scunthorpe United, interim manager Danny Pugh and Frank Sinclair provided their assessments of the match.

The 38-year-old has not been a touchline presence for the Valiants’ last two games due to observing a period of self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus, with Frank Sinclair taking the reins on the touchline in his absence.

Pugh has been issuing instructions remotely and after the final whistle, admitted he was disappointed in the manner in which the team conceded the two goals that ultimately impacted the final outcome.

“It was just very disappointing. I think to concede the goals that we did in the first half, how we conceded them, it just gave us a massive uphill battle.”

“One long ball back to front and he (Ryan Loft) is through on goal. It should not happen, and we just make it too easy for teams to score against us.

“We have got to do all sorts to create a chance or to get a shot on goal, but we just seem to give other teams easy opportunities to get a shot at our keeper.”

Looking ahead to the next game against bottom of the table Southend United, Pugh provided an incite on what will turn around back-to-back defeats against Walsall and the Iron.

“We have to get back straight on to the training ground and work hard at just the basics really.

“We are not being beaten by teams that are better than us. We do not believe that they are better teams, got better players, but I do believe that we are giving them opportunities that we should not be giving them and making it too easy for them to score against us.”

Pugh believes that instead of assigning blame on to individuals, the team need to remain together as a group.

“I think the only way we are going to turn this around is as a group of players, a group of staff as a football club is to not try and pick out individuals or the players.

“We have got to get back on the training ground, stick together as a group and try and put this right going forward.”

Meanwhile, Frank Sinclair, speaking on what improvement need to be made ahead of the home clash against relegation candidates Southend at the weekend, also stated that the squad need to focus on performing the basics right.

“We are putting ourselves under pressure, trying to play in the wrong areas, making the wrong decisions and if we can get the basics right, we have got good players on the football pitch, but you have got to earn the right to show that you are a good player.

“At the minute we are playing in the wrong areas, we are not turning teams around, pushing in and putting them under pressure at the right times. It is something that we will work on for the next game because if you get the basics right, you have got a hell of a chance of winning football matches, but at the moment we are not getting the basics right.“

On a positive note, James Gibbons who recently returned to the squad from a hamstring injury, was brought on as a half time substitute and Sinclair, for one was impressed with the right back’s contribution at the Sands Venue Stadium.

“He was excellent. It is exactly what we expect of Gibbo. We have obviously thought about holding him back and trying to get him back and not lose him again because he is so important to the team.

“He is dynamic, he is quick, he is ferocious in the tackle and he has got a bit of pride about winning games and we need all of that at the moment, and all the other characters that are like that in the team.”

Finally, with Pugh returning to the club today after completing his period of self-isolation, Sinclair admits that he is looking forward to working back alongside Vale’s interim boss and that the entire club have missed him.

“It is going to be interesting the rest of this week because Danny will have his own view from afar of what he has seen, what he thinks is good enough and what he thinks we need to improve. I am really looking forward to getting him back in work with us because we have certainly missed him.”

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