Vale manager pleased with belief

PA Sport
Micky Adams was pleased to see confidence flowing through his Vale side
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Micky Adams was pleased to see confidence flowing through his Vale side

Port Vale boss Micky Adams is delighted his players are finally believing in themselves after a comfortable 3-0 win consolidated second position in the npower League Two table.

Oxford collapsed after Ashley Vincent's goal early in the second-half added to Tom Pope's opener and Adams now hopes his "close-knit group" can live up to his own expectations.

The Vale boss said: "I know what I've got in the dressing room and I'm very pleased that the players are also starting to believe we are a good side.

"Some people have raised concerns about our home form, but that was only because our away results have been so good. I wasn't concerned, but that performance would have answered any questions because the players have responded magnificently."

Pope poached his 13th goal of the season in the 30th minute when visiting goalkeeper Ryan Clarke failed to hold Louis Dodds' low shot from Vincent's left-wing cross and Pope fired in the loose ball from six yards.

Vincent netted Vale's second goal from the tightest of angles six minutes after the interval. Clarke hesitated after Sam Morsy played a ball over the top and Vincent chased down what appeared a lost cause to slice a left-foot effort into the far corner of the net. It was all over 10 minutes later when Morsy bent in a terrific right-foot shot from 25 yards after Jennison Myrie-Williams laid on the chance.

Oxford boss Chris Wilder kept his players in the dressing room for 45 minutes after the game before admitting the second-half was "like men against boys."

Wilder said: "For the first 25 minutes we were well in the game. We got in some great situations where just the final ball was lacking and we really should have gone ahead. But as soon as the first goal went in we started to lack belief and then we've conceded a really poor second goal early in the second-half.

"After that it was comfortable for a Vale team who are in form because our heads went down and we lost contact with the game. Our players started to look after themselves and we really need some men in the side. It was a little bit too easy for Vale and that is a concern.

"There are no excuses and we've taken a step backwards after what had been a decent 10 days for us."

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