Following the appointment of Neil Aspin back in October, Vale’s improved form has seen them climb out of the bottom two in Sky Bet League Two.
Saturday’s victory over Barnet stretched the current unbeaten run to four games in all competitions, but Aspin insists he has only made ‘simple’ changes since joining the club.
The Valiants have picked up a healthy return of 13 points under his leadership so far, as well as progressing in the Checkatrade Trophy and the FA Cup.
On the improved form, Aspin said: “I just think it has been very simple alterations, we’ve tried to pick through the squad and get a number of players that we believe we can use in the team.
“It has then been a case of deciding on a formation. We agreed on it, we’ve worked on it and we have stuck to that with a couple of tweaks now and again.”
As a player, Aspin was always recognised for his work rate and determination to succeed in every game, something which he wants to rub off onto his players.
“It has been a simple message, we’ve just been trying to get the players to work as hard as they can because I feel that’s the one common denominator that you can manage yourself,” he said.
“We’ve tried to be organised and we have been getting the players to understand what we expect from them.
“There’s nothing complicated, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, it’s just a case of getting everybody working hard and doing their jobs.”
Aspin knows that ideally he would like to have his best players featuring in a formation that suits them all of the time, but he insists that adapting when injuries and suspensions arise is key.
He said: “It might be the case that a player might have to play out of position when you’ve got an injury or suspension, so it’s not always possible to put someone in their preferred position.
“I do think it’s important to try and keep a settled team as much as possible.
“I’m always happy with the starting eleven if they work hard and apart from one game where I think we dropped our level, the players have deserved to play.
“They’ve worked hard in each game and if you’re asking them to do that you can’t guarantee a result, but if they’re giving everything in terms of commitment you can’t really criticise."