Port Vale boss Darrell Clarke was delighted to see his side fight back as substitute Dennis Politic scored a quick-fire double to claim a 2-1 FA Cup second-round comeback at the expense of Staffordshire rivals Burton.
Vale trailed to Ryan Leak’s first-half header before Politic equalised after 79 minutes and completed his brace and the turnaround four minutes later.
“It was a great FA Cup tie in very bad conditions.” said Clarke. “I am delighted with the response from the players after going a goal down.
“We knew we were going to have to dig in deep in the second half and the key message was to make sure they didn’t get a second goal and we would get chances – fortunately, they fell to Dennis today.”
Clarke felt his side should have had a penalty at the end of the first half when Ben Garrity appeared to be brought down by Deji Oshilaja.
He added: “I thought it was a stonewall penalty to be honest but we kept going and didn’t feel sorry for ourselves.
“The group galvanised themselves at half-time and we had our backs to the wall at times but we defended our box really well and it was really pleasing to get a couple of goals.
“Dennis is only 70 per cent fit which is one of the reasons why he hasn’t started the game. He is a tremendous talent.
“I just can’t afford to risk so may of my forward-thinking players having already lost three centre forwards. I’m sure the supporters want him starting but I have to be careful right now.”
Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink struggled to disguise his disappointment at seeing his side knocked out having failed to build on their first-half lead with conditions in their favour after the break.
“It is a defeat that will hurt me for a long time,” he said “I don’t think we were great.
“I don’t think you can be at 60 per cent and win the game. We are not good enough to play at 60 per cent and beat teams like that.
“They won the midfield and second balls. We dwelt too much on the ball. We created a lot of chances but so did they and we can’t depend all the time on our goalkeeper to make saves.
“Nevertheless, when you are winning one nil and getting chances, you have to make it two nil.
“Good teams make two nil and then the game settles down but if you keep on missing the two nil then they keep on believing.
“The disappointment is that we didn’t take our chances.
“If you want to achieve anything in the game you have to be on it every single game.
“We didn’t do enough today to win the game and good teams, even if they are not at their best then one nil is enough. You see the game out by doing the right things.”