Top-class Valiants earn first victory
HE WAS his own worst critic last week but Port Vale boss Micky Adams claims his gamble paid off against Bradford this time around.
Adams switched to an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation against Colchester last time out as the Valiants fell to a 1-0 defeat and he admitted it was a mistake.
His decision to restore Lee Hughes against the Bantams proved a masterstroke, though, with the 37-year-old notching his first goal of the campaign to give the hosts the lead.
And despite Nahki Wells’ leveler, captain Doug Loft was on hand to earn Vale the victory.
“I’m absolutely delighted, straight from the off I thought our effort, commitment and work-rate for each other was great, they put their bodies on the line, which you have to do against a team like Bradford,” said Adams.
“It was nice to see the commitment after last week and to get a response like that was tremendous. We’ve got some decent professionals in the dressing room, I think that’s why we were surprised by their poor performance.
“We needed to respond, I picked an 11 that was quite adventurous to be honest, I played two wingers and Hughes back in - and he put in a fantastic performance for us.
“The importance to try and get that first win was there for everyone to see and we went about our business really profes- sionally and I thought it was a top performance.”
Vale looked the most threatening and Bradford keeper Jon McLaughlin did well to stop Hughes’ stinging shot and Kaid Mohamed’s rebound.
But Hughes was not to be denied and he put the hosts into the lead on 43 minutes when he intercepted a back pass from James Meredith and slotted home.
Wells equalised on the hour mark after he converted Garry Thompson’s cross. Hughes then turned provider for Loft who fired home from outside the box on 69 minutes to inflict a first league defeat of the season on the Bantams.
“It was a fullon competitive game, they had the better of it in the first half, but in the second half we came out and played really well and deserved something out of the game,” said Parkinson.
“I told the lads that they would come out with a reaction after their defeat and we had to be careful after our victory last week that we didn’t get carried away.
“In honesty they were the better team in the first half, but we got a reaction after half time and I thought it was a tremendous effort to get us back into the game and it was so disappointing to concede that last goal.”