Zak Jules has praised the togetherness of the Port Vale squad just days after making the move to Burslem, and he is hoping to play his part as Neil Aspin’s men aim to climb the Sky Bet League Two table.
The 20-year-old joined the club on loan from Shrewsbury Town last week and he is looking forward to playing football again following a lengthy injury layoff.
“There is a good group of lads here, they all want to win games and do well for the club,” he said, speaking about his new teammates.
“That’s what I’ve got from every single one of them, they just want to get points on the board and pick up results.
“Especially seeing the reaction from the boys after the Accrington game, they were all distraught after that - there’s a lot of passionate boys in that changing room, and I’ve seen that early on.”
Reflecting on how the loan deal came about, Jules added: “It was pretty last minute in fairness, I just went into training at Shrewsbury and I got called in by the manager early in the morning and he put it to me.
“When I came back from my injury, I told him that I wanted to play games whether it was at Shrewsbury elsewhere, and he was happy with that.
“They’re doing well at the moment so chances are pretty slim down there, so he was happy for me to go and I was pleased to join Vale as well.
“Hopefully I’ll get some games and have a successful loan spell here.”
Earlier this season, Jules spent time at Chesterfield where he featured regularly before picking up an injury that resulted in him returning to his parent club for surgery.
Now back to full fitness, the 6ft 3in defender insists that he has felt no issues and he believes his time at Vale Park will be very beneficial to him.
He said: “I wanted to get as many first-team games as possible under my belt this season and I went to the lengths of leaving Reading in the summer to do so.
“It hasn’t quite worked out like that at Shrewsbury because they’re flying at the moment and they’ve only conceded a handful of goals, sitting third in League One.
“That lead to me deciding to get games elsewhere, but I was unlucky as after seven matches I picked up quite a serious hamstring injury.
“I’ve come back really quickly because I was scheduled to be fit again at the end of March, and once I realised I was going to be fit earlier, I wanted to get out and play.
“Sitting on the sidelines and watching the boys do so well at Shrewsbury was good, but you want to be a part of it.
“It was frustrating, but now I’m back fit, I want to pick up where I left off because I felt like I was doing quite well at Chesterfield and hopefully I can bring those performances to Port Vale.”
With a week to catch the manager’s eye during training before the Colchester United clash on Saturday afternoon, Jules is ready to be called upon if required.
As a player who can slot into numerous positions across the defensive line, he is keen to use his pace and power to his advantage in order to impress supporters.
“I’m quite quick and powerful, but I’ve got a half decent left foot too so I like to play a bit as well,” he said.
“As a defender, keeping the ball out has to come first. I want to concede the least amount of goals possible and hopefully get a few in the other end to win games.
“Football is a performance based business - if you’re doing well you play, and if you’re not, you don’t get selected.
“If there’s someone in the team enduring a dip in form then that will give me a chance to slot in, but it’s down to me to perform and keep my place.
“It would mean the world to me to play on Saturday, especially after the tough four months I’ve had in terms of getting back from this bad injury.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m available for selection, so it’s down to the gaffer to make a decision on who plays. Hopefully I do and I can do well for the team.”