Goalscorer Tom Pope says he was “proud” after the team’s exit to League One side Sunderland on Sunday.
Many observers felt Vale were due a draw after a strong display in the second period.
We were the better team for the last hour…
Pope commented: “Yes I am proud. It was an awful start for us for 25 or 30 minutes and we never got going, but then the gaffer was brave to bring Manny [Oyeleke] on and change the shape. For the last hour we were excellent and we certainly deserved more than what we got.
“Their full-backs had all day early on and we couldn’t really press them with wing-backs, certainly down our left-hand side. Theo [Vassell] was stuck between the two because he had two men out wide, so if he got out to the full-back, they would just switch the play out to the other one.
“We never really got a foothold on the game, but then we went into a four, and that stopped their full-backs getting out to allow us to play to our strengths more. From that point, we were the better team for the last hour.”