Port Vale: Dan Jones calls on side to show powers of recovery after Morecambe defeat
DAN Jones says Port Vale must show their true promotion colours with a quick response to Saturday's surprise defeat.
The Valiants lost their place at the League Two summit after Lewis Alessandra's 63rd-minute sealed a 1-0 victory for visitors Morecambe.
The reverse ended Vale's six-match unbeaten run, and allowed Gillingham to leapfrog them at the top.
But Jones, aged 26, insists the true test of the club's credentials will be how quickly they can bounce back from the weekend setback.
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Vale remain seven points clear of the play-off pack, but face a pivotal spell of six games in three weeks, starting at Torquay on Saturday.
"Losing at home was a bit of a blow, but we'll come out fighting and prove what a good side we are," said the left-back, who turned in a man-of-the-match display against Morecambe.
"We were unbeaten for six games before this and there's no reason why we can't go and do the same thing again.
"We had created such a gap over our rivals that one defeat doesn't affect the bigger picture too much, but it's important to bounce back.
"We've got a lot of character in our dressing room and I'm sure that won't be a problem."
Vale looked anything but promotion contenders for much of the game as they struggled to create chances.
And though Micky Adams' side mounted a late rally after the visitors had been reduced to 10 men following Andrew Wright's dismissal, they couldn't find a way back.
"We've got a run of games now and it's important for us to show the quality we have," added Jones, pictured.
"The gaffer has told us to keep our heads up and we'll do that. We'll stay strong.
"That was only our sixth defeat of the whole season and, though it was a bad day at the office, we're still on track.
"We've got a good week of training ahead of us and we'll work on what didn't happen for us against Morecambe and put it right."
Jones, who joined the club from Sheffield Wednesday in January, produced an all-action display in which he stood out.
And he says Vale's attacking style has helped him settle in.
"I'm really enjoying it here and the way the gaffer sets the team up suits the way I play," he said.
"He's telling me to push on at every opportunity and to drive forward with the ball, and that's what I'm best at.
"But it's not just about me. I'm here to do a job for the team by defending and then putting the ball into the box and that's what I'll do."
Match report: Pages 46&47