Goals aren't the issue
Goalkeeper Chris Neal believes goals won’t be an issue for Vale next season but insists the side will need to tighten up in defence to be successful in League 1.
Vale conceded five goals against Derby and although only a fitness exercise Neal admits they needed to keep things tighter at the back.
“If you look at the kind of players we have on the pitch we are always going to score goals, that’s why we need to concentrate on keeping it tight at the back,” Neal explained.
“With Pope and Gavin Tomlin looking sharp up top there and the wide-men, we are always going to score goals.”
Vale face Blue Square Premier side Kidderminster Harriers tonight (7.30) at Aggborough. And Neal, who featured in all 46 of Vale’s league matches last season, is expecting another stern test.
He said: “Kidderminster are going to pop the ball about, and we are going to have teams like that during the season so it’s more realistic to what we are going to be doing and coming up against week-in week-out, we need to go there and apply ourselves well.
With pre-season friendlies always labelled as a ‘fitness exercise’ and Micky Adams known for his tough pre-season’s Neal expects a few changes of personnel to the starting 11 tonight.
“We need to make sure we are one of the fittest teams in the league, the gaffer no doubt will have us one of the fittest teams, we just need to keep working hard,” Neal told Valiant Player.
“I’m sure over that last couple of weeks of pre-season it will taper down a little bit.
“The gaffer will be looking to give other members of the squad 90 minutes, it’s important going into the season with as many players as possible with 90 minutes under their belt.
“Come the end of the game you need that little bit extra in your legs to get through the league games.”