Despite leapfrogging Gillingham to go top of the table at the weekend, top scorer Tom Pope won’t be getting carried away and he knows there is still a long way to go before anything is decided.
He said after the Gillingham game: “There are still nineteen games to go so we are not going to get carried away and I am sure the gaffer won’t let us get carried away.
“On saying that, it’s a great feeling being top of the league and we deserve to be for the effort we have put in.
“It was never going to be an easy place to come. It was never going to be a place where you are going to out-football teams and do all pretty nice stuff.
“They are pretty direct in what they do and we have had to put our backs to the wall in the second half and see the game out.
“Darren Purse came in at centre half and he was majestic and it was great how the back four played. Chris Neal pulled off some great saves.
“It was a bit like Bradford away all over again. They were launching ball into the box but we stood tall and in the end we deserved it for all the effort we put in.
Pope’s new strike partner Lee Hughes claimed the second goal, and Vale’s 26-goal striker believes the acquisition of the former Notts County hit man is a terrific move by the manager.
He commented: “I think the way he gets the fans against him is good because it stops them getting behind their own team.
“All their fans giving him stick stops them from encouraging the team and I think for the majority of time he was on the pitch the fans were booing Lee Hughes instead of getting behind their team.
“There isn’t much pace in there so it is going to depend on the balls into the box - we scored two goals from balls into the box.”