Manager reflects as late comeback seals another League One point for the Vale against Forest Green Rovers.
- Darrell Clarke | “Our fans believe in the players and that makes a massive difference”
- Port Vale manager speaks after his side’s 2-2 draw with Forest Green Rovers at Vale Park
- Clarke: “I think you have to be happy with a point when you are 2-0 down at half-time, but we wanted to win the game today.”
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke again praised Vale’s supporters for sticking with his side throughout our 2-2 draw with Forest Green Rovers.
Clarke’s side dominated proceedings but found themselves two goals down at half-time through two goals conceded from the visitors’ set pieces.
However, second-half goals from substitute Mipo Odubeko and leading goal-scorer Ellis Harrison sealed a point, which could have been more but for a fine late save from Rovers goalkeeper Luke McGee to deny Harrison a second and Vale a third.
Reflecting post-match with iFollow the Vale, Clarke said:
“I think you have to be happy with a point when you are 2-0 down at half-time, but we wanted to win the game today.
“I certainly thought we were the better team throughout the game but we didn’t defend two set-pieces, which is a big disappointment. That meant they could then take their time over things and kill the game – I am not having a dig at that, that’s what you do when you’re 2-0 up away from home – but the lads kept going and we got our rewards in the end.
“You have to do the basics of the game right; you have to defend set-plays because other than that they didn’t create many problems, I know they had one or two counters at the end but I don’t think I could have had any more attacking players on at the end, so they were always going to have one or two counters.
“It was a frustrating first-half; we keep shooting ourselves in the foot by conceding the first goal, which we did today.
“Let me give the fans a massive pat on the back today, I thought they were outstanding. At half-time, 2-0 down at home, I didn’t hear many grumbles and they stayed with the boys for the whole 95 minutes.
“That is massive for us, they believe in the players, which is great and it is great to get the backing – it really is – because it makes such a massive difference to the players to get back in the game and feel the lift from the crowd.”
Substitute Odubeko scored Vale’s first and was one of five players Clarke brought on from the bench in the second-half as he looked to influence the game.
And Clarke was pleased with how his reinforcements were able to impact the latter stages.
“I think over a period of time the lads have shown that character,” Clarke continued. “I don’t call players subs, I call them gamechangers and it is important that when lads do come on they are ready to change the game, to effect it, whether that is in a positive manner or to sure a game out.
“We have players that can do that; Mipo comes in and scores a great goal and that got the team going - it is only the keeper pulling off an excellent save at the end that stops it being three points.”