14 August 2021

Darrell Clarke frustrated as Port Vale cannot find breakthrough against Tranmere

14 August 2021

Darrell Clarke could not hide his frustration after his Port Vale side had failed to find a breakthrough in their goalless League Two draw at home to Tranmere.

The Valiants had created by far the better chances but a combination of poor finishing, good saves by Rovers goalkeeper Joe Murphy and plain bad luck denied them a first victory of the season.

And the Vale boss admitted he was much happier with his players’ performance than the result.

“It was a frustrating afternoon because we haven’t won the game,” said Clarke. “I thought that was two good teams going toe-to-toe and we had the better chances,

“We hit the crossbar and hit the post and their keeper’s pulled off a great save at the end, so we’re frustrated we haven’t picked up the win.

“Sometimes you just need the rub of the green as well. But I think that was two good teams having a good go. I’m sure it was a good game to watch for the neutral, we’re just disappointed that we haven’t quite nicked it, we created the better chances in the game.

“It’s two games down and one point from them but it’s still early days – this is a 46-game league season and there’s a long way to go.

“The fans clapped the boys off at the end and they don’t do that unless they can see they’ve had a right good go.

“They can see that with a rub of the green, better finishing or better quality in the final third, we win the game. We’ve created enough chances to win it, that’s what I will say and we’ve certainly worked their keeper more than they’ve worked ours.”

While Clarke was left to rue his side’s lack of cutting edge, Tranmere boss Micky Mellon was delighted with the efforts of his players.

Mellon also paid tribute to the 1,300 supporters who made the trip from the Wirral to back their side on a difficult afternoon.

“Over the 90 minutes I thought we were superb,” he said. “We played some really good football. It was about getting on the end of things and having that clinical edge. But I thought it was a hard-fought game, which you always get at Port Vale, we always know it’s going to be a difficult game here.

“But we were roared on by unbelievable support, they were brilliant, they were absolutely superb and we really appreciate them spending their money to come here and support us.

“We needed them today and we’re going to need them right through the season. They gave us the legs, desire and energy we needed.

“My players played some good football and showed bravery and a lot of control. In the first half we needed to be more clinical with our final pass to set up some chances and I think in the second half we were.

“We knew all it was going to take was a little glancing header, a volley or a ricochet to go to us but it was a hard-fought point at a difficult place to come.

“We came here to win but we’ll come away with a clean sheet and a hard-earned point.”

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