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James Gibbons with honest assessment after Cheltenham loss

24 February 2019

Port Vale defender James Gibbons has said that the Valiants have to be more creative and clinical in front of goal if they want to be playing League Two football next season.

The Vale fell to a fourth successive league defeat away to fellow strugglers Cheltenham Town yesterday afternoon, leaving them sat just three points above the relegation zone.

With Notts County up next for the Valiants, a win will be the absolute necessity against a side who sit rooted to the bottom of the table. Five points above County, a win for the Vale would give them not just confidence, but a sense of a relief as it would give them some breathing space from the relegation zone.

To get a win however will require creativity for a chance to get some goals, something Gibbo feels needs improving on after reflecting on the Cheltenham result. 

“We struggled to get out, we struggled to get the full backs forward. The goal was onside, we’ve had a look at that and he’s onside.  When you’re down at the foot of the table you’re not getting that sort of luck.

“Second half I thought we were better. I don’t think they had a chance second half but then again I don’t think we created that much to trouble the keeper.

“You can say you we had all the possession in the world but at the end of the day it’s about scoring goals and picking up points.”

Having analysed the goal with First Team Analyst, Dan Thompson, much to John Askey’s annoyance, it appeared to confirm that midfielder David Worrall was onside when he tapped the ball into the back of the net from Monty’s cross.

It was a well-worked goal that started from Manny Oyeleke’s eye of the needle ball through to Monty. The Colombian nicked the ball through the legs of the Cheltenham defenders and whipped a delightful ball across the six-yard box. Worrall was there to smash the ball home, but the linesman raised his flag for offside.

Despite Popey’s wrongly disallowed goal against Cambridge on top of yesterday afternoon’s offside decision, Gibbons insisted they can’t use bad officiating as an excuse for their poor form.

“You can’t dwell it on you’ve got to get on with it. There have been a few decisions like that over the past few weeks.

“My red card you could say killed us, the goal killed us, a few slices of luck were going against us. That’s what happens when you’re down there. It’s about creating you’re own luck, turning it in and kicking on from there and not dwelling on it.

“From now until the end of the season every single game is a big game and everyone has to treat it like it’s the last game and we’ve got to stay in the league.”

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