Assistant manager Warren Joyce praised a “tremendous achievement” as Salford extended their unbeaten home record with a narrow 1-0 win over lowly Port Vale.
Top scorer Ian Henderson headed the game’s only goal just before half-time and the Ammies withstood another nervy finish to win for the first time in four games and move back into the playoff places.
City are unbeaten in 17 league home games dating back to last season, with only a penalty shootout defeat to Leicester Under-21s in their last 19 in all competitions.
“We managed the game well after last week at Morecambe, where we didn’t manage it and came away very disappointed not getting any points at all, so it was important to get the three points tonight,” said Joyce.
“The first half wasn’t pretty for either side. It was a hard and lively pitch so neither side could really get it down and play attractive football. We weathered the pressure they put on us with the long balls and pace up front, we dealt with that quite well all night.
“The goal is a high-quality goal from the passing movements, a great cross into the box and a great finish.
“The lads have to keep the record going, they are unbeaten so far at home which is a tremendous achievement and we have the most clean sheets in the league as well, conceding the least goals so there are a lot of things to build on.
“Everything is in our hands so if we work hard and get everything right we will keep a run going.”
Vale slip to 21st having not won since January, with Darrell Clarke frustrated at the long wait for his first win as manager.
“The lads have given me everything again but we are just lacking that quality,” he said.
“It was never going to be pretty but that is where we are at with the squad of players and injuries that we have. You have to keep going and keep believing and as long as the boys give me that I will make them better players.
“It’s disappointing that they have scored with the only real bit of quality with the cross. We had a great chance just before that when Devante (Rodney) can probably pull the trigger so (we are) lacking a bit of confidence in that final third.
“The only way it is going to drop for us is not by feeling sorry for ourselves, we have got to get better and earn the right to produce that quality.
“We keep chipping away and won’t feel sorry for ourselves. This club should never be in the situation it is now. It is, so we keep working and stick together as a group.
“The injuries (to Christian Montano and James Gibbons) were both hamstrings. I’ve never known anything like it, coming into a club with that many injuries.
“I’m not going to hang anybody out to dry but I know the reasons – but it might get worse before it gets better with the amount of games we have coming up. It certainly doesn’t help the situation. I don’t like using that as an excuse.”
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