Keeper looks ahead to Friday's game
Goalkeeper Chris Neal believes that Port Vale can look to recent results and performances for confidence ahead of Friday night’s clash with Preston North End.
The Valiants were unlucky to come away from Tuesday’s night game at Scunthorpe United with only a point after being denied the win by a last minute Kyle Wootton header.
They also draw with promotion chasing MK Dons in their last home game.
And speaking to the assembled press, Neal believes that particular result means that Vale can compete with the teams at the top of the table.
“We shouldn’t have been beaten against Rochdale with the way we played, pressing high. It wasn’t a great spectacle but we build a solid base there, unfortunately to get beat," he said.
“The MK Dons game does set a precedent where we need to be and what we need to do to get points against the top teams. Hopefully we take confidence from that and the Scunthorpe game into Friday.”
The 29-year-old also had special praise for Richard Duffy and Neill Collins for the partnership they have forged at the heart of the Vale defence.
“Obviously we conceded the late goals against Rochdale and Scunthorpe but apart from that in the MK Dons I thought they played fantastically well,” he said.
“I thought they looked solid, they’re both organisers and it makes my job a lot easier. If you look at what I’ve actually had to do in the last two games, it’s not been a great deal so it’s nice to have those two in front.”
Neal also knows how much of a threat Preston pose as they chase the last automatic promotion spot.
“They’re season is not fizzling away by any means, they’re looking to get that automatic spot. They’ve been in and around the playoffs in the last couple of seasons so they’ll be wanting to avoid the playoffs and go up automatically.
“It’s going to be a difficult game but we showed when we played MK Dons here, who were sitting third in the league, that we can match any team.”