He feels privileged to be playing for his boyhood club
Chris Birchall is relishing his time back at his boyhood club and says all he wants to do is to do well for Port Vale.
Like the manager Micky Adams, he has played down Vale’s chances of a top six finish to the season, but feels the Christmas period could be a telling time for the club.
“I just want to do as well as I can for the club and help in any way I can to get as high as we can. I think it’s our highest league position since when I was here in 2006. He said:
“We are just taking each game at a time and I think especially away from home we are a tight-knit unit and we are hard to break down.
“We have got players who can score goals as well, so it is going well, but there are a load of games coming up over Christmas and we will see where we are in the New Year.
“The manager is still a hard task manager but that’s what you expect when you sign for one of Micky’s teams.
“His main philosophy is work-rate and he won’t take any messing. If you are not working hard and tracking players and putting pressure on players on the ball then you are not going to be playing in one of his teams.
“I think everybody here knows that and everybody is on board and loving their football and you can see it is paying off.
“This time last year we were in League Two and now we are in the top half of League One and we are just enjoying it and see how it goes.”
Birchall manages to get a full ninety minutes under his belt at Walsall on Saturday – something he hasn’t done has often as he would have liked so far this season.
But he understands it is a squad game and with so much quality in the squad sometimes the players have to be patient and hope they can do enough to keep the shirt.
He said: “It is always nice to get ninety minutes. A lot of times when I have started I have come off, but that’s really because we have got great players on the bench who can come on and change the game.
“The lads keep on at me because I have got a great record when I’ve started for Vale this season – I don’t think we have lost this season and long may that last.
“I just hope I haven’t said that at the wrong time, but I am thoroughly enjoying being recalled to the team and whenever I am called upon I will do my best.
“Since I was eight years old I have been associated with the club – I have come up through every level of the School of Excellence, as it was back then, and through the youth team.
“I really missed it when I was away and always looked out for the results – it is home, I live in the city and always have done.
“When I came back Micky was here. It was a club I wanted to come back to and he gave me a chance to. I am a fan so when you see me on the pitch I try to do my best, work hard, and even if you having a bad game, if you work hard the fans appreciate that.”