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Darren Moore: Port Vale boss says club have 'fighting chance' of avoiding relegation

Port Vale boss Darren Moore claps the fans after a match
Darren Moore managed West Brom, Doncaster, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield before being appointed at Port Vale

Port Vale manager Darren Moore says the club have a "fighting chance" of avoiding relegation after ending their 14-game winless run by beating Burton.

Vale's 1-0 victory was Moore's first since taking over nine matches ago and the club's first in League One in 2024.

It cut the gap to safety to three points with 21st-place Vale in the last relegation spot with eight games to go.

"I'm delighted with the three points. It's been a long time coming," Moore, 49, told BBC Radio Stoke.

"I felt we've been close but getting it over the line was great."

Moore has endured a difficult start since replacing Andy Crosby in Burslem in mid-February, who was sacked after a run of one win in eight games.

After losing six of his first eight matches, Moore - who was appointed on a five-and-a-half year contract - finally got his first victory, secured by Ryan Loft's first league goal for the club seven minutes from time at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday.

"Lofty scoring was brilliant - I'm pleased for him after going through early in the first half [for a missed chance] he could've let it affect him but he never.

"There was a break and he came over to the side of the pitch for a drink and I said 'your next one's coming, just keep going'.

"He nodded his head because you can think it's not going for you but I said [afterwards] 'you deserve that one' and to hear the supporters sing his name will be huge for his self-confidence. His all-round game was excellent for the team."

Finally a 'feel-good factor'

Moore described the togetherness in his squad as "wonderful" and added they would "need that until the end of the season".

Vale's victory over the Brewers, in 19th, dragged their hosts firmly into the battle to stay in the third tier with the gap between the two clubs cut to three points.

With Cambridge United in 20th place on 39 points - the same as Burton - the race to avoid dropping into League Two will intensify over the closing games with only five points separating Fleetwood in 23rd place and the Brewers.

"We'll keep fighting," Moore said.

"There's always been that desire and attitude, despite what's gone on, and we've given ourselves a fighting chance. But we have to continue to fight on.

"All round everyone played their part and got it right. We needed to because we had no room for error and I'm thankful to have three points, a clean sheet and to be able to say 'we got it right'.

"I'm delighted for us all at the football club. It's a valuable three points. It's nice for everyone connected with Vale Park to have that feel-good factor."

Vale are next in action at home against 14th-placed Bristol Rovers on Friday.