Vale extended their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions on Saturday afternoon as they overcame Barnet at Vale Park in Sky Bet League Two.
Nathan Smith was part of the back four that kept a clean sheet and he was delighted with the application of his teammates, despite him admitting that it wasn’t a vintage display.
“It was a good win and a solid set of three points,” he said.
“The gaffer said to go out and win the game at all costs and that’s what we did. It might not have been the prettiest performance, but winning is the main thing and hopefully we can repeat that on Tuesday.
“We came out on top and we deserved the points we earned, but hopefully next time out we’ll add a bit more quality and maybe find a few more goals.”
After progressing through the Valiants’ youth system, Smith is now a mainstay in Neil Aspin’s defensive unit and his partnership with Tom Anderson is catching the eye of many.
On playing alongside the Burnley loanee, Smith said: “I know what Tom will do and he knows that to expect from me too.
“We’ve blossomed well over the last few weeks and it’s coming together nicely with some clean sheets that prove we’re doing well.
“As a back four, we concentrate on keeping clean sheets and then it’s up to the forwards to do what they do.
“If we keep shutting the opposition out we should be able to climb the table.”
Smith was also quick to praise goalkeeper Ryan Boot following the victory, commending his part in Vale’s recent upturn in form.
The 23-year-old stopper pulled off a crucial save in the 77th minute to deny Simeon Akinola before Tom Pope fired in the winner.
“That save at nil-nil kept us in it and it pushed us on to get all three points,” said Smith.
“Boots has came in, done well and really showed his quality, but first and foremost he’s kept a clean sheet.”
On the task of facing Mansfield on Tuesday, he added: “We will approach that one with a lot of confidence, believing we can win as we do every game.
“It’s all about the results now, we don’t think too much about the opposition. We focus on ourselves, and if we put the performance in, we’ll come away with the points.”