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Neil Aspin assesses pre-season so far

15 July 2018

Following Vale's 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers at Vale Park on Saturday afternoon, the gaffer spoke to the club about pre-season so far, admitting that he senses a good spirit within the squad.

Aspin has been a busy man during the summer transfer window, drafting in 11 players already as the 2018/19 Sky Bet League Two edges ever closer.

The newly shaped squad spent a few days out in Ireland to focus on improving their fitness and strengthening their team bonding, and the manager believes the trip was very beneficial.

He said: "It doesn't matter what type of chemistry you have or what the squad of players is like, they will all benefit if you win games.

"It is so much easier to have a good morale if you are winning, but there are some good players in there and a good spirit amongst them.

"All that anybody is interested in is getting results and they have got to produce on the pitch, but I was happy with the way they trained last week going to Ireland.

"It was a good trip in that respect and the only disappointment is that we picked up a couple of injuries, but they could have happened anywhere.

"We have got a tough week in terms of getting through games, but we have to manage the fact that people have knocks as well. The bigger picture is that we need to get to the last pre-season game with everybody to choose from, and if we achieve that I will be happy."

With the Valiants' group of players still getting used to each other's styles and personalities, Aspin knows just how crucial the more experienced players will be in helping the less experienced figures settle.

When recruiting members of his team, the manager has been wary of getting the balance correct, and he is looking forward to seeing how the squad is fairing across the next few weeks.

"I think all the lads that are new to the league need to look up to the experienced players, and it is up to the older heads to help the younger ones," Aspin said.

"You need to get a blend as we can't play a team of 30-year-olds, and we are trying to get the mix. They can learn from each other, and some older players are never too old to learn things from younger ones.

"We have to get a balance and we have got to get them into a shape where I am happy, but the players have got to be happy with what we are doing as well."

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