Port Vale: Micky Adams backs keeper Chris Neal after Dagenham and Redbridge howler
MICKY Adams is backing goalkeeper Chris Neal to bounce straight back from the mistake which condemned Port Vale to draw with struggling Dagenham and Redbridge last night.
The 26-year-old dropped an almighty clanger as Vale were held at home on a night they were hoping to go top of League Two.
The former Shrewsbury stopper let a shot from distance somehow squirm under his body before the ball trickled into the net.
But Vale boss Adams is confident Neal, Vale's man of the match in the 1-0 win at Bradford City on Saturday, will quickly get the mistake out of his system.
"Any goalkeeper worth his salt would be disappointed to concede a goal like that," said Adams.
"Chris has been magnificent all season and kept us in games at times, as he did on Saturday.
"It's unfortunate that when keepers make mistakes it usually costs goals, but I'm sure he'll learn from it and I'm sure he'll bounce back.
"I've no doubts about his character or personality, it was just one of those unfortunate things."
Luckily for Vale, Jennison Myrie-Williams spared Neal's blushes by thumping home an equaliser just three minutes later.
But the disappointing result, and a below-par performance from his team, left Adams bemused.
"That's two flat home performances in a row and I'm finding it difficult to understand why," he explained, "particularly as when we go away we look so confident and have so much self-belief.
"But we've got to find the answer, it's as simple as that."
Adams was unhappy with several aspects of the game.
"It was a flat performance from start to finish," he added. "We didn't meet the standards and benchmarks that we've set ourselves both as a team and as individuals.
"We didn't pass the ball quick enough, we were taking three or four touches when one or two would have done, and we made quite a few individual mistakes."
Adams was happy to see Myrie-Williams net his fifth goal of the season to rescue a point.
"It was good to get back level so soon after going behind and that showed a bit of the character that we have in the side," he said.
"But overall it was a disappointing performance and a few of the players went missing.
"Dagenham got behind the ball, sat deep and made it difficult for us, but we've got to be better to break opponents down.
"We've got to get better quality up to Tom Pope, get the ball wide and get it into the opposition box.
"When we do that we look a decent side, but we just didn't do it tonight."
MICKY Adams is one of the leading contenders for September's manager of the month award.
Vale claimed four victories from six league games, an identical record to leaders Gillingham.
They beat promotion favourites Rotherham, Fleetwood and Bradford and drew against Torquay United.
The fact they were beaten by Gillingham will count against Adams, but Vale have the better scoring record for the period.
The Football League panel are expected to discuss the matter next week.