Clarke hails ‘model pro’ captain Conlon in first win as Vale boss

Port Vale boss Darrell Clarke was full of praise for his players after they secured his first win in charge of the Valiants in a 2-1 victory over promotion chasing Newport County on Tuesday.

Vale opened the scoring early on through Tom Conlon inside 12 minutes.

Newport hit back just after half time, substitute Jake Scrimshaw making an instant impact.

However Vale won it late on when top scorer Devante Rodney struck with 15 to go to secure Vale’s first win since January.

Speaking to Port Vale’s official YouTube channel, Clarke was quick to divert the praise away from himself and onto his players.

Clarke said: “It is a big win, make no bones about it. It is not about me winning my first game, it is about my players tonight.

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“They were outstanding in that first 30 minutes, I have been asking for that quality.

“They equalised then we went down and scored, then we are digging in.

“We went to a back five to shore it up and they didn’t really cause us any problems.

“The players deserve all the plaudits tonight.”

Clarke then heaped praise onto goalscorer Conlon, who he hopes can now turn his positive efforts into more goals.

He added: “He’s (Conlon) been unfortunate, I’ve watched the games back and he’s some sweet ones that have been saved well and struck the inside of the post.

“He’s getting in the position to score goals and that’s all you can ask for.

“He’s a model pro, since I’ve come through the door he’s been fantastic.”

Clarke is now hoping his side can get a run going and warned more is needed to avoid relegation from the Football League.

“We’ve got to put back-to-back wins together, there’s a long way to go until the season ends.

“There’s 10 games and 30 points to play for, there will be a lot more twists and turns.”

Vale are now eight points clear of Southend United who occupy the final League Two relegation spot.

The Valiants travel to fellow relegation rivals Colchester on Saturday. A first away win since December could take Vale as high as 16th in the table.

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