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League One

Preparation pays off for Port Vale boss Micky Adams

12 February 2014

Port Vale manager Micky Adams was delighted with the way his side soaked up second-half Colchester United pressure to battle back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory to end a three-match losing run.

Adams' team threw away a two-goal lead against Swindon on Saturday, but his players dug in to keep a rare clean sheet as Colchester piled on the pressure.

Young centre-backs Jack Grimmer and Joe Davis impressed in the rearguard action, while skipper Doug Loft struck a goal in each half.

The Vale boss said: "I'm happy with the performance in general and very pleased with the result. My players showed a lot of character to make sure we saw the game out.

"After Saturday we worked on things in training and I thought that work paid off. We made mistakes individually, collectively and tactically against Swindon, but we put that right.

"We were particularly good in the first half. In the second half people might think we sat back a bit, but that is understandable after what happened at the weekend.

"I thought the second goal calmed us down and the clean sheet is a testament to how well we've done. We rode our luck a bit but Colchester's keeper did as well. We always carried a threat going forward.

"We had good partnerships all over the pitch and Jack and Joe were excellent. I've played Doug Loft at left-back and in every position in midfield. He plays anywhere and scores goals."

Vale made a strong start and a Chris Lines free-kick flashed narrowly wide before Loft scored his sixth goal of the season in the 15th minute.

The visitors penned Vale back at the start of the second period before the dynamic Loft netted his second goal against the run of play.

The visitors refused to throw in the towel and Vale were forced to soak up heavy pressure late on with substitutes Freddie Sears and Jabo Ibehre going close.

Colchester manager Joe Dunne said: "Of course we're disappointed with the result, but I'm very encouraged by the performance. If we keep playing like that we will win more games than we lose.

"I thought the first 30 minutes showed we had gone over three weeks without a game and Vale got their goal at a bad time for us.

"But after that I thought we controlled the rest of the first half and we dominated almost all of the second. We camped in their half but just couldn't score.

"The lads played some terrific football and we created chances. if I have to be critical, it would be because we should have shot rather than passed the ball on quite a few occasions.

"But we've still had a lot of efforts on goal and if you looked at the stats I'm sure they would look favourable.

"I talked about the threat of Doug Loft in the days before the game, but unfortunately he's scored two goals. You have to give Vale credit because they scored the goals and got plenty of bodies behind the ball to protect their lead."

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