Port Vale host Swindon Town this weekend in a classic six-pointer as both teams fight for Sky Bet League One survival.
Vale go into the game off the back of some encouraging performances, despite only picking up five points since the turn of the year.
Defender and captain Ben Purkiss spoke exclusively to Valiant PlayerHD mid-week about his sides performance last weekend away at Southend: “I think we are deflated in the manor that we drew the game, but encouraged by the performance. There was fight from the players, great application and we dealt with the adversity of getting injuries.”
He continued: “In terms of the performance we looked organised as a team and people were giving everything for the cause. We created some chances as well. There are plenty of positives to take, we just need to see the game out.”
However, Purkiss is aware of the squad’s downfall and will be looking to put it right in the next game: “I think we are a bit panicky at the moment and maybe lacking in confidence because we have not won in a long time, but we definitely should be encouraged by our performances.”
Vale have been dealt some blows to the back four recently due to injuries and suspensions, and the 32-year old has been filling in at centre-back in a make shift back line, and feels that he has done well so far in his temporary position: “I quite like it. It is a good position to be in to try and organise people, as well as talk and see the game.
I felt that over the two games I grew into the role and of course I am happy to play there when needed, as we are quite thin on the ground in that department at the moment.”
The latest addition to Michael Brown’s Port Vale is that of former defender Chris Morgan who has come in to work with the defence, something that Purkiss relishes: “He came in last week specifically to work on the defensive unit. He came straight in and you can see that he is big on communication and organisation; that are two key facets to a good back four.
He stresses the importance of going back to basics and basically that our job is to keep the opposition from scoring. We have been set a clean sheets target between now and the end of the season and that will be something that we are looking to hit.”
Vale go into the weekend’s fixture with Swindon Town with high hopes and are aware of the importance of this fixture in particular: “It is a massive game, but I think every game between now and the end of the season is massive. We did not want to be in this position, and did not expect to find ourselves in this position, but for one reason or another we are where we are.
We go into the game against Swindon knowing the magnitude of it, but every game from now until the end of the season is an opportunity to get three points, and hopefully we will do exactly that.”