Port Vale travel to West Yorkshire today, as they take on the Terriers in a bid to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Vale go up against Huddersfield Town who are flying high under manager David Wagner as they currently sit fourth in the Championship table, and are unbeaten in seven.
Vale go into the game under the new management of Michael Brown after Bruno Ribeiro’s departure last month. The Valiants have kept clean sheets in their last two fixtures and will be looking to make it three.
Defender Kjell Knops spoke exclusively to Valiant PlayerHD yesterday about Vale’s chances: “It is going to be a difficult game against Huddersfield, because they are a big team in the Championship, they play really good football and when they lose the ball the press really high.
For us it is a difficult game but I think we also have to take our chances, and if we take them we can make it difficult for them.”
The 29-year old defender is reveling in the opportunity play against a Championship side: “These are the games you want to play as a League One player because you are playing to get into the Championship.”
He continued: “In these games where you play against a Championship team you can see if you can reach the level of them, so it is a good fixture to be involved in.”
Port Vale have had the aid of the National Football Centre this week as they have trained at St. George’s Park in preparation for the FA Cup tie. Knops outlines the importance of this past week: “It has been good, St. George’s Park is a great place with a lot of facilities. They have good training pitches and there are swimming pools where you can do your recovery. It is great and I think it will help going into the game tomorrow.
As for Vale’s form, they have kept two clean sheets in the two fixtures where Michael Brown has been at the helm. The Dutchman outlines the significance of keeping clean sheets: “It is really great. When you play in defence you always want to get a clean sheet, it is the most important thing for a goalkeeper and the back four. We have done that for the last two games, and we will see if we can do the same tomorrow.”
Furthermore, Knops explains that the transition from Ribeiro to Brown has been seamless for himself, and discusses Brown’s footballing philosophy as manager: “For me it has not been a big change because Michael was the assistant before Bruno left.
He wants us to play football but first he wants to work hard and work for each other and then the results will come after that. I think if you work hard you deserve points and will go on to win games”, he added.