“They have real, genuine quality” Port Vale boss lauds Sheffield Wednesday in match that 'could have gone either way'

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A match that saw little difference in any of the meaningful stats saw Sheffield Wednesday edge out plucky Port Vale thanks to a bit of magic from one of their international stars.

Will Vaulks’ stunning long range strike on the hour mark won a tightly-fought contest in which the cut-up Vale Park pitch was probably the most influential factor.

A howling wind and raucous atmosphere also contributed to a difficult afternoon for the Owls, who had to work hard for the win and their six clean sheet in 11 League One matches this season.

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Speaking after the match, Vale boss Darrell Clarke expressed his pride in his team’s performance. The Staffordshire outfit were promoted from League Two last season and have made a positive start to their life back in the third tier.

Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke.Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke.
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke.

“It’s a great strike from their lad that has won them the game,” Clarke said.

“We’re disappointed, we played a lot better in the first half then the second half in a game that was scrappy and tight and probably could have gone either way.

“We want to have a good go at teams whether it’s Sheffield Wednesday or whoever, especially when we’re at home, we want to have a go at them with a high press and cause them problems.”

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Clarke admitted the depth of quality in Wednesday;s squad shone through in a tightly-fought scrap of a match.

“There’s a difference with the top teams that you play at this level,” he said. “They have a real, genuine quality throughout the group and they can hurt you.

“What I would say as a massive positive is that we look like we’re able to compete against those teams, we are competing against those teams and that for me is the future of where we want to be heading.

“We’ve got another easy little game at Derby County next week!

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“We look forward to the challenges. It’s brilliant. This is what it’s about. We had a fantastic attendance today, the owners deserve that for what they do for this football club and we want to make sure next week we do ourselves justice.”