Having joined on a season-long loan from Aston Villa, Mitchell Clark has enjoyed his time at Vale Park so far and he believes it will be a critical period for his development.
The 19-year-old defender has featured in four games so far and he has impressed at both left-back and right-back, but he wants to translate performances into results in Sky Bet League Two.
He said: “I’ve settled in really well, playing four games, winning one and losing three. Despite that, in terms of performances from everyone, we’ve played well and I feel like I’ve played well.
“I’d rather have the team play well rather than me as it’s a team game, but I’m enjoying it and I know I’m coming here to play first team football which is good.
“League Two is a lot different to Under 23s football as it’s more physical and there are more long balls than I had imagined, but you have to adapt to whatever is put in front of you.
“Our team is strong. People are looking at the results and thinking otherwise, but we know that we are good enough to get some wins under our belt.”
Since his arrival, Clark has cemented a starting berth in Neil Aspin’s team and he has forced James Gibbons out of the eleven. Despite that, he has admitted that there have been no hard feelings between the pair.
Both players will be in contention for a place in the side when Vale travel to Forest Green Rovers this weekend, and Clark is hoping he and his teammates can secure an elusive victory on the road.
He said: “It’s part and parcel of being a player, having competition. Gibbo welcomed me and he didn’t have any problems with me - that’s all I can ask for,” he said.
“At the end of the day it’s football. We are both fighting for the same position, but regardless of who gets the nod, we are going to encourage each other either way.
“There are people who think we are not confident as a team when we are playing away from home, but that’s not the case.
“When you go away, it’s more about the opposition piling pressure on you and we’ve perhaps defended more than we should’ve done, but we are confident in every game we go into.”