Port Vale manager Neil Aspin says he has “mixed emotions” over the side’s loss to Sunderland in the first round of the FA Cup.
Vale recovered from a poor start to push Sunderland hard in the first-round tie before succumbing 2-1 to their League One opponents.
I’m proud because at 2-0 they have to show character and they’ve got to show determination and spirit and they did that and if they continue to do that in every game this season, then I’ll be happy…
Aspin commented: “I’ve got mixed emotions because you don’t want to be going out of the cup, but I’m pleased with the efforts of the players.
“We had a disastrous start, and when you go 2-0 down you’re then looking to see what the players have got – are they going to roll up their sleeves or are they just going to buckle under?
“I’m really pleased with the way they responded after that and once we got the goal, we really pushed them hard.”
“I’m proud because at 2-0 they have to show character and they’ve got to show determination and spirit and they did that and if they continue to do that in every game this season, then I’ll be happy.”
Aspin also joined striker Tom Pope in paying tribute to midfielder Manny Oyeleke who came on as a sub. He said: “It was quite obvious it wasn’t working today so we’ve had to switch to a back four. I can then bring Manny on and put him into central midfield and he did make the difference.
“He makes the difference because he’s a good player – he’s strong, he can drive forward and we need to try and keep him fit and if we do that then he’ll be a really good player for us.”
Port Vale take visit Mansfield in their next EFL game, and are 7/2 outsiders to win the game according to Bettingapps.co.uk. Mansfield are available at 2/3 with bookmaker 888sport, and the draw is 13/5 with the same bookie.