Date: 18th September 2011 at 12:10pm
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Vital reader Burslem Boy gives his view on Vale’s disappointing defeat to Shrewsbury…

Defeat is often a better teacher than victory. Micky Adams`s thoughtful post-match comments suggest that he has learned some of them. But particular explanations for particular defeats should not disguise the general malaise that seems to be affecting the team. After nine league games last season we had conceded only four goals (and were top of the division); this season we have conceded sixteen at the same stage. There is some encouragement in the fact that we have scored twice as many goals (21 as against 10) as at the same stage last season, but it is well to bear in mind John Rudge`s dictum that ‘you need twenty clean sheets to win promotion`. At the moment we seem incapable of keeping a clean sheet and are conceding goals at an alarming rate, reminiscent of the dark days of Lee Sinnott.

In the past two games we have largely been overrun in midfield. Worryingly, especially for a Micky Adams team, we look physically flat. Both Bradford and Shrewsbury had more energy than us and kept us under constant physical pressure. Only in the latter stages against Shrewsbury, when Loft and Morsy came on, did we produce any movement in midfield and up front and were able to exert a grip on the game, though it was too little, too late. It`s more grey skies than blue skies at the moment.