It may be difficult to take a positive out of a negative such as the drubbing at Bury, but here are five things that we think could benefit the club.
As any loyal Vale fan knows, events such as the 4-1 drubbing in soggy Bury can stretch your loyalty at times.
Yes, there were an awful lot of negatives to be drawn from the defeat, but let’s look on the bright side and consider what positives can be taken out of such a performance?
1. For a start, Vale fans would be encouraged by the second-half showing of new signing Gezim Shalaj. It was Shalaj’s determination that led to Nathan Smith’s consolation goal. Yes, the winger is not match fit yet but when he wasn’t dodging the puddles, he showed enough strength and intelligence to suggest he could be a real asset to the team.
2. Similarly, even though goalkeeper Jak Alnwick picked the ball out of the net four times, he was the man of the match for many watching Vale fans. With Miguel Santos now cleared to play and with Ryan Boot in reserve, Vale are spoilt for choice between the sticks.
3. It was also clear that Vale missed Anthony Grant’s presence in midfield but with last season’s player of the season now fit again, Grant’s battling presence will surely stop another Bury humiliation. With Michael Brown also on the comeback trail, Vale will have not one but two defensive midfielders to choose from for away trips.
4. Vale are unlikely to experience such extreme conditions again in a hurry. The weather certainly played a part in Bury’s opener when Remie Streete’s pass stuck in a puddle and the young defender will no doubt learn from that error. It’s sometimes easy to forget that Streete is still only 21 (and partner Nathan Smith just 20) and the odd error will occur.
5. Finally, the defeat has not put too much of a dent in Vale’s League One standing. A decent performance and result at Peterborough could see the Valiants rapidly return to the top six. Let’s hope that’s the case at 5pm on Saturday.
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