Manager reflects after run of three consecutive home League One victories is ended by Peterborough United.
- Darrell Clarke | “The lads are an honest bunch and tonight they know that we underperformed with the ball”
- Port Vale manager assesses his side’s 2-0 defeat to Peterborough United at Vale Park
- Clarke: “We have to accept it was a disappointing performance, but in general it has been really positive in what we have achieved so far. Now is the hardest part, trying to go that extra bit and I have massive belief in this group that we will keep chipping away and working away to get better.”
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke says his side must digest a disappointing performance and result as two second-half goals from Ephron Mason-Clark sealed a 2-0 victory for Peterborough United at Vale Park on Monday evening.
The Vale had won three consecutive home League One matches going into the clash with Darren Ferguson’s Posh, though Mason-Clark’s double – after an even first-half – proved decisive in the outcome on a freezing night.
“Obviously it was a disappointing performance,” Clarke explained. “It was a pretty even first half and then we started the second half on the front foot, but give a sloppy goal away, and then we’re chasing the game and we never really got going.
“We never got going, chasing the game on a pitch where we are trying to move the ball quickly. We will have to find a way to win games of football, which we certainly have in the last three home league games in which we have won 1-0, on what is a very difficult pitch.
“It was an even first-half, we had a good chance and Mal [Benning] held his hands up in the changing room, but he was in the right place and on another day it goes in the back of the net.
“The lads are an honest bunch and they know that, at times, we underperformed with the ball, we got in some good areas of the pitch and we didn’t capitalise on it at all tonight.
“That is this level of football; they have talented players, they have always improved the squad and spent good money. They have players that can hurt you on their day but we are better than that, we are better than what we showed tonight and we have to review it, look at what we did good – which wasn’t a great deal tonight – and look what we didn’t do so good.
“We have to accept it was a disappointing performance, but in general it has been really positive in what we have achieved so far. Now is the hardest part, trying to go that extra bit and I have massive belief in this group that we will keep chipping away and working away to get better.”
Clarke, who confirmed that striker Ellis Harrison “won’t be too long” in his recovery from injury and fellow forward James Wilson will miss “two to three weeks”, was asked by BBC Radio Stoke about links to the managerial vacancy at fellow League One club Portsmouth.
“I love my job here and I get up every morning to try and make this football club better,” Clarke added. “I don’t look and listen to stuff like that, for me it is about focusing on making this group and club better all the time and that is what I will continue to focus to do.
“I am really happy here; I signed a long-term deal, I am loyal, people that know me will say I am loyal and all I do is wake up thinking of how we can get better.”