Mark Grew believes Oldham Athletic will be a tough test for Vale
A number of players have spoken to the club site admitting that they can’t get carried away with the good start Vale have had, but have confirmed that the feeling in the camp is high.
Mark Grew has agreed with this assessment from the lads, and he believes Oldham Athletic are going to be a tough test for the Valiants.
Grew said: “We’re not going to get carried away, the Doncaster match was a great game of football, three points and a great performance, but we know we’re going to go to Oldham tonight and be put under the cosh.
“They’ve had a couple of blips in the last few games and I’m sure they’ll be working hard to put that right.
“If we go there over confident when we turn up then we’ll have our problems, but I’m sure the Gaffer will make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Last time Port Vale played Oldham at Boundary Park, the Valiants lost 3-1 after going in 1-1 at half time, but Grew believes they will go there to get a better performance this time around.
He said: “Last time we played Oldham we did well in the first half. I think Lee Hughes missed a penalty, but we all know the second half wasn’t good enough. That’s in the past now though and it’s about what we do tonight that counts.
“It’s always windy up there and cold, but we can’t use that as an excuse. We want to go out there and continue with these good performances.”
Grew thinks that because the squad is has such strength in depth, if a player doesn’t perform they have someone that can come in and do a job which will help the squad through the season.
He explained: “The nice thing about it is everyone’s looking over their shoulder. The squad is so good that if you let your standards drop the Gaffer will put someone else in, that is good, because if you look at our bench there are some quality players on there.
“I think our away performances are vital. We all know that last year we didn’t perform well enough away from home, but we’ve gone to Doncaster and beat them which is a bit of a coup.
“I don’t think anyone expected us to go there and win 3-1, but away form is vitally important.
“If we can continue the home form we had last season and improve on our away form, we won’t be that far away from where we want to be.’
As Goalkeeping Coach, Mark works closely with all three keepers in the squad and explained how he feels about working with two players who want that starting place.
He said: “When you work with a small group of lads like I do with the ‘keepers, it’s a really difficult situation to be in. You’re really pleased for one and you’re gutted for the other.
“I spoke to Chris Neal and he admitted he didn’t have the greatest of pre-seasons, but he’s said to me that you know what you get with him.
“I knew exactly what he meant by that. He’s going to give everything he’s got to pressurise Sam. Surely that’s got to be good for the football club.”