Neil Cox delighted with defending as resilient Scunthorpe win at Port Vale

John Askey
John Askey (PA Wire)
22:03pm, Tue 17 Nov 2020
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Scunthorpe boss Neil Cox was thrilled with his side’s resilient defensive display as they defeated Port Vale 1-0 at Vale Park.

The Iron secured their second away victory in just three days after a special individual strike from Abo Eisa.

Eisa curled in a sensational winner in the 28th minute after being unleashed by keeper Mark Howard on the counter-attack to lift them out of the relegation zone.

“We’re delighted with two victories in two tough away games where people were thinking we were going to struggle,” Cox said.

“It wasn’t our best display going forward but we scored a good goal early on and defended really well as a unit and they struggled to break us down.”

“I think our goalkeeper only had to make one save throughout the game and I thought we were defensively excellent as a team.

“The most impressive thing was the clean sheet as we need to give our forwards the encouragement to score the goals.

“Players who have just walked into the building after isolating for Covid-19 came in and we showed the spirit we have again tonight.

“It’s never easy coming to Port Vale and these are one of the best teams in the league, if not the best.

“They have really good players with a good substitutes bench and I really like the way they play.

“We scored the first goal and were able to shut up shop and it was great to stay firm and win the game.”

Port Vale failed to bounce back from Saturday’s dramatic home defeat to Tranmere as they were denied an equaliser in a last-gasp goal-line scramble.

Vale assistant manager Dave Kevan took press duties for a manager John Askey and was frustrated at full time.

“We feel a little bit hard done but there’s no divine right to win football matches,” he said.

“We huffed and puffed tonight and didn’t create enough chances but we still feel we did enough to win the game.”

“Our final ball wasn’t as good as it can be but collectively we thought we were in control throughout.

“We’ve conceded to a wonder strike and credit to the lad [Eisa] because it was a great finish.

“We didn’t score whilst we were on top and we did start the game well, but we didn’t have enough opportunities on goal.

“They deserve credit for defending well and making life difficult for us but we expect to break teams like that down, with no disrespect to them.

“We’ve just got to keep working away as it’s a long season and we will get results like we’ve had tonight which is frustrating.

“We know collectively that we are a strong group and we are confident that the results will come.”

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