Micky Adams praises Port Vale after battling draw at Burton Albion
MICKY Adams saluted Port Vale's never-say-die spirit as his team battled back to clinch a point in last night's Staffordshire derby.
The manager was satisfied with a 1-1 draw at Burton Albion, but was less impressed by injuries to two key players.
Richard Duffy twisted an ankle, and could be facing a spell on the sidelines, while Clayton McDonald took a whack on the shin.
"It was a hard-fought draw and I'm happy with it," said Adams. "I certainly can't fault the effort or application of the players. They gave it their all and their desire not to be beaten will stand us in good stead.
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"It was a bit harem-scarem in the middle at times, and we were up against it a bit, but we showed our battling qualities and our never-say-die spirit."
Duffy had to be helped from the field at half-time and looks set to miss Saturday's trip to Northampton at least, though the extent of his injury will be further assessed today.
"He's twisted his ankle and it looks a bad one at the moment," added Adams.
McDonald was also forced off in the second half and he's struggling too, according to the manager. But he'll be suspended for Saturday anyway, having picked up his fifth booking last night.
"The squad is stretched now, but there's nothing we can do," said Adams. "We'll just have to get on with it.
"Joe Davis might have to step up to the plate, or Gareth Owen, who is itching to play and has been disappointed not to be involved recently."
Burton took the lead with a fluke when debutant Jordan Chappell's cross flew into the top corner of goalkeeper Chris Neal's net, but Vale hit back almost immediately when substitute Ben Williamson rammed home from close range.
"Their goal was a bit of luck, to be honest," said Adams. "The lad turned blind, crossed it and it went into the top corner.
"But to hit back so quickly showed the character that we have in the side. It was a great move and probably one of the best of the night.
"I fancied Ben to get a goal because he's a confidence player and he stuck it away nicely.
"We were piling the pressure on at the end trying to snatch a late winner, but whether we deserved it or not, I'm not sure.
"Both teams were reasonably matched, so to come away 1-1, I'll take that. Sometimes you have to accept draws, particularly at difficult places like this and in a local derby like this."
Adams felt the game became a bit too stretched at times.
"That can happen, especially when you have two wingers who are playing as high up the pitch as we allow ours to," he added.
"Sometimes the midfielders can get over-run and it's a bit scary at times, but that's the way we're playing at the moment."
Adams, left, was impressed by Vale's sell-out away following of more than 2,000 fans, who created a terrific atmosphere at the Pirelli Stadium.
"Our supporters were fantastic," he said. "They follow us because they believe we give them something to follow us for and we're a decent side when we do things right."
VALE will travel to Forest Green in the first round of the FA Cup.
The Gloucestershire outfit won 4-1 in last night's replay at Dartford, earning the right to take on the Valiants on November 3 or 4.