The City boss said: “I thought the lads were excellent tonight. Vale are a good side and they put out a strong team tonight but I thought the lads worked really hard and deserved their victory. As I’ve said before, the lads want to win every game they can and I think that desire showed through tonight. I think to win tonight after making changes again shows the tremendous spirit and character within our squad at the moment. All of the players want to do well, they want to do well for each other and they want their team-mates to do well also.
“You can see the likes of Nathan Doyle and others on the bench tonight supporting the lads before they came on themselves. We make changes in games like this to try and manage the amount of match minutes each player is playing and to give some players in the squad a fair share of the action. The results like tonight and others this season show that we have faith in all the members of our squad and we go to win every game possible whoever is selected.”
“To be only two rounds away from Wembley is great for the football club. We wanted to win tonight because this is a competition we want to do well in. The competition doesn’t kick in again until into the new year so we can put it to bed for a bit, concentrate on our league fixtures coming up through the Christmas period, and then go again in the new year when there are less midweek fixtures scheduled.”
“I thought Ritchie Jones was excellent tonight. Vale’s big pitch here seem to suit his athletic style, and he took his goal really well. Tommo (Garry Thompson) had a great game too, setting up both goals, and the two young lads at the back (Tom Naylor and Curtis Good) did exceptionally well and deserved their clean sheet. The whole team were excellent tonight, however, and I’m delighted with the effort they put in.”