With Cambridge United making the trip to Vale Park in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon, Neil Aspin has urged his side to keep clean sheets.
Vale last shut out Barnet on the 18th of November, but the manager has been left frustrated due to individual defensive errors over the last few weeks.
“We’re conceding because of mistakes at the back and that is leading to goals - it’s as simple as that,” he said.
“I’ve not tried to complicate things since I’ve been here and there isn’t a magic formula. If you pick through the goals we’ve conceded, they’ve all been errors.
“We must cut that out. You also need a bit of good fortune as well, but we can’t afford to make errors because we’re getting punished.”
The U’s come to Burslem sitting mid-table in Sky Bet League Two, but despite their recent dip in form, Aspin is expecting another tough test.
He said: “The Cambridge game, like all the league games, are massive from now until the end of the season.
“There can’t be any excuses, we need points consistently between now and that point.
“This is a big month, but so is January, February, March and so on. You’ve just got to get on with the games.
“People always look ahead but we can only focus on Saturday.”
United have former Vale man, Uche Ikpeazu, in their forward line and Aspin knows that the physical striker can be a handful on his day.
“People here at the club know him, the supporters know him and he’s like a lot of players - on his day, he can be a real handful,” said Aspin.
“If you catch him on one of those days you know that he could cause problems, but it’s up to us to cause Cambridge difficulties.
“That has to be the way we approach the game.”