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Lee Nogan: "Every game in this league is tough."

26 November 2018

Despite Vale's next four games in Sky Bet League Two coming against opposition who currently lie below them in the table, Lee Nogan insists that the squad can't afford to take anything for granted.

Tuesday night's trip to Yeovil Town will give the players an opportunity to bounce back from two successive defeats, and the Assistant Manager is keen to see a much improved performance than the one against Swindon Town.

However, Nogan admits that he doesn't take notice of where Vale's opponents lie in the division. He also takes a game-by-game approach when it comes to fixtures too, and he believes that people shouldn't look too far ahead.

He said: "I never look at the teams we're playing and where they are in the table because every game in this league is tough, whether you're playing the top four or the bottom four.

"You have to make sure you don't assume that you're going to pick up points. We're only going to do that if the players perform to their maximum ability. 

"As we saw in the first half on Saturday, if we play like that we'll get nothing. Every game is important whether the opposition are top of the table, in mid-table or down at the bottom.

"We want to win every game, and it's as simple as that. The mentality has to be right from the players because it is from the staff.

"You've got to be consistent with your performances and then hopefully you'll pick up the wins, but there is no point at looking three or four games ahead, we have to get something from Yeovil first."

Neil Aspin will be without Mitch Clark for the midweek trip to Huish Park after the on-loan Aston Villa defender picked up an injury last time out, and Nogan confirmed that he will be sidelined for three weeks.

Ricky Miller is also out of contention due to a hamstring problem, but despite those concerns, Nogan wants the players that do feature to impress against the Glovers on Tuesday.

He said: "Mitch is going to be out for three weeks which is a bit of a blow because he's done well for us, but it's one of those things.

"He's played a lot of games since he's been here, and going from under-21 football to league football can be tough because the intensity is higher, so I think you're always wary about injuries.

"We've got James Gibbons who can come back into the squad and we've got Theo Vassell who can play on either side as well, so we've got enough options in that area.

"Ricky is still suffering with his hamstring, but only slightly. He's back in training but we don't want to risk him, so we're anticipating that he'll be back in about a week or so.

"I don't think the distance we've got to travel will be a hinderance. The players' minds are right, they're relaxed, and we'll be there in plenty of time. 

"Once you get to about an hour before kick-off, everyone should be focused on the job in hand."


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