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 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 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.”