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Darren Moore confident Port Vale can beat the drop despite Lincoln loss

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Feb 2024

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Port Vale manager Darren Moore insisted his side were capable of keeping themselves in League One, despite suffering a third-successive defeat since he took charge with a 2-0 loss against Lincoln.

Joe Taylor’s second goal in as many games was added to by Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s late penalty to secure all three points for the visitors, who extended their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Defeat in Moore’s first home game at the helm – since replacing the sacked Andy Crosby – stretches Vale’s winless streak to nine games and leaves them three points from safety.

But the 49-year-old remains confident his team have what it takes to beat the drop.

“What I’ve learnt with them is they’re a good squad, they’ve got the capabilities of keeping this club up in this division and that’s how we’re going about it,” Moore said.

“What they have to do is take care of the small details in terms of their game and focus on their strengths in terms of bringing them to the team and the club on a daily basis and in games.

“And then moving forward together and stopping it (the winless run), making sure that we’re solid, we’re not giving away anything basic or elementary.

“They’re good pros. They’ve proven they’re good pros because they’ve come through too many hurdles to be at this level by mistake.

“So it’s just regrouping and digging in. There’s everything to play for.

“I’ve said to the boys, what we have to do is respond in the right manner to go again on Tuesday (at home to Fleetwood).

“They’re as frustrated as we are, they really are, because there’s a real care with them in there and that’s a wonderful sign.”

Lincoln were gifted a second-minute lead as Taylor pounced on Nathan Smith’s loose pass from a free-kick and, with Connor Ripley out of his goal, guided the ball into an empty net from just outside the area.

The game was put to bed in stoppage-time as Hackett-Fairchild sent Ripley the wrong way from the penalty spot after substitute Dylan Duffy was brought down inside the box by Dan Jones.

“We knew on this size of pitch – and with it being Darren’s first game – it was going to be scrappy and we’d have to dig really deep,” Lincoln manager Michael Skubala said.

“And I think what I’m really pleased about today is we saw the other part of the game that we know these young lads can have, which is digging deep and being ruthless.

“I think it’s difficult because when you score so early, the natural instinct is to sit and come off teams and not give up your lead.

“I thought we weathered (the storm) a bit to half-time and then when we got in at half-time we could tidy up a different shape, how we pressed them and how we stopped them coming on so much.

“I think to a man (we did that) – even the subs coming on there and stopping them.

“And we knew they were going to throw everything at us as the game went on and go big, and I think really in the end, we did enough to win the game.”

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