Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell says that the expectation of being top of the league and facing our near neighbours had zero affect on our performance at the weekend.
The Alex suffered only their fourth defeat of the season after Jake Taylor scrambled home the only goal of the game from a set-piece.
Artell says that playing a local derby or a boost in crowd numbers had no bearing on the defeat, but instead he stressed that Port Vale deserve credit for the way they defended their goal in the 90 minutes.
David told the club’s official website: “It is an easy assumption to point towards it’s a local derby and there is nearly 8,000 fans in the ground and all that. Having a bigger crowd and being top of the league makes no difference.
“We have been top of the league for the last couple of weeks and coped fine. We usually play better in front of good crowds too. Playing a local derby should only be a small element to it.
“I prefer to focus on football reasons. We didn’t do enough and didn’t test their goalkeeper enough. I didn’t think there was much in it for the first hour before the goal. I thought we were the better side for the final ten minutes of the first half without being dominant and then for the opening 15 minutes of the second half but once they scored Port Vale were the better side as we chased the game.
He added: “We had some shots blocked and you have to credit Port Vale and the way they defended their box. The centre-halves threw themselves in front of some goalbound efforts, but we have to do more.”