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Tom Pope: "We need to get back to winning ways."

25 January 2018

Tom Pope scored his 15th goal of the season last weekend during the defeat to Accrington Stanley, but the striker admits that Vale need to end their run of four games without a win, regardless of who finds the net.

The Valiants host Colchester United in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday, and having earned a draw against the U's earlier in the campaign, Pope is hoping he and his teammates can go one better this time around.

Back-to-back home fixtures will give Neil Aspin's men confidence as they haven't lost on home soil in the league since Mansfield Town ran out as victors back in November, but the striker insists that it will be a tough couple of weeks.

He said: "These two games are massive, especially in terms of our confidence. A few weeks ago we were 12 points off the bottom two, looking up the table and only eight or nine points off the play-offs.

"Everything was looking rosy, and then you go and have two or three results like we've had and that means we're looking over our shoulders again.

"Saturday is going to be tough - they're (Colchester) are a decent side and we saw that away where they battered us in the first half, but in the second 45 we were the better team and we probably could've won it.

"We've then got Morecambe the week after and they're down and around us, but being at home will help and we are certainly wanting to get some points on the board."

With December's remarkable run of form in mind, Pope believes that a push for a top half finish is a realistic ambition with 17 matches left to play in Sky Bet League Two.

During that month, Vale picked up a total of 13 points, with notable victories over promotion-chasing Luton Town and Coventry City proving to be the highlights.

"Of course we can aim for the top half, everybody knows how crazy this division can be," said Pope.

"Luton went on a ridiculous run and then they lost to us and Chesterfield within a matter of weeks, we beat Luton and then lost to Forest Green the week after - every team is capable of putting a run together.

"We've got to get back to winning ways and hopefully we can get another run going to enable us to look up again rather than below us.

"It's always nice to score goals, but it would be a much better feeling if we were sitting in the top half of the league.

"Hopefully now, with a couple of home games coming up, we can get some more points on the board and I can score a few goals."


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