Vale boss relieved his side are safe

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin

Tom Pope's heartbreaking late equaliser at Mansfield Town today meant Port Vale were safe at last.

There was relief and delight for manager Neil Aspin, who came in earlier in the season when they were looking like relegation candidates.

He said: “I am delighted. Although you think you are safe, because there is that mathematical doubt you suddenly start wondering what might happen. That doubt eats away at your mind.

“So it's a relief to be safe. It would be wrong to be celebrating a season that has been such a bad season and I am not trying to gloss over it.

“We have got safe, which is the most important thing. But it's not a time to pat ourselves on the back. It's a time where we know we need to do better so we're not in this position again.

“When I first took over I knew it was going to be a really difficult job. But we got points on the board early which we needed.

“I've always felt we could get to safety but there have been times when the luck goes against you and you just wonder if you're not going to get over the line.

“To be fair to the players, we may lack in certain areas but I have never doubted them.

“They've trained well and most of the time played to the best of their ability which is all you can ask for. They've done well from the position they were in to get to safety.”