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Neil Aspin: "The players gave everything for the shirt."

30 September 2018

Vale stretched their unbeaten run to four games in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon as Idris Kanu salvaged a point deep into stoppage time versus Exeter City, but Neil Aspin insists that was the least his side deserved.

The Valiants went toe to toe with the Grecians who came into the game sitting in one of the automatic promotion spots, and the manager was delighted with the work rate and determination from his squad to claim a positive result.

"It's a really good point. When you score late on like we did today everyone is relieved and it feels like a victory when you find the net right at the death, but it's no more than we deserved," he said.

"The players gave everything for the shirt and that's what we want, it's what the supporters want, and it shows that if you keep going until the end you can get your reward.

"I'm really pleased with their efforts because I have to say that Exeter are a good side with quality players, and I think they will finish in and around the top three places.

"We are still making progress and it's going to take the club a while to get into a position where we are winning consistently at this level. Exeter have been building for a lot longer, but I have been encouraged in the last few weeks and we need to make sure we keep working has hard as we did today."

Saturday's fixture also saw Aspin name an unchanged line-up for the third consecutive game, and although the manager admits that circumstances can impact on his selection, he admits that the group are building a real understanding out on the pitch.

It was of course a substitute who fired home the equaliser and that shows the strength in depth that Vale have, but Aspin believes there is a real unity around the place and the tight-knit dressing room atmosphere can only aid things moving forward.

He said: "You certainly have people who are forming a partnership so the more they play together the better they will get, but circumstances dictate what team you can play. There are always injuries, suspensions or loss of form which come into your decision making.

"As a manager you don't want to be making loads of changes every week and if I can keep a settled team then hopefully that means we are doing well.

"Idris' goal will do his confidence a world of good. It has been difficult for him to come here because he's still learning the game at his age, it's a new environment for him and he is desparate to do well. His attitude has been spot on and I'm delighted for him because he has kept his head down.

"The rest of the squad are genuinely really pleased for him and I sense that spirit, but the only way we can keep building that is by getting results. Today would've taken a lot out of the players so the recovery will be important to get some energy because we have another tough game on Tuesday against MK Dons."

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