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Neil Aspin looking to build on recent form

27 September 2018

Having watched his Port Vale side stretch their unbeaten run to three games in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon following an away win at Crewe Alexandra, Neil Aspin is eager for the squad to maintain their levels of performance.

Manny Oyeleke and Ben Whitfield goals earned Vale all three points at home to Northampton Town the week previous, and with both Exeter City and MK Dons set to travel to Burslem in the space of four days, the manager believes the support from the stands could be key.

The Valiants' form on home soil has been impressive so far during the 2018/19 campaign, with three wins from four matches one of the better records in the division. Despite that, the manager is expecting a tough few days, but he wants his team to produce something to get the fans going.

He said: "We have got to give the crowd something to go at. If you see no forward play and no excitement then it can be hard as fans to get much enthusiasm, so we have to produce something for the crowd to get behind.

"If we can do that, hopefully the supporters will be lifted and they can back us as always. If they do, it does it make it a much better place to play and it gives you a greater chance of getting a result. 

"If you sit back then a team can come at you, but I don't intend to sit back. Sometimes you get pushed back and Exeter will fancy their chances of getting promotion this season. 

"They are on a good run, but we are going to get tested by our next few games at home against some of the fancied teams. We are looking forward to Saturday's game and it's one which we want to do well in."

Aspin has praised the attitude of the players on numerous occasions and he has noticed a real togetherness between the group, something which he believes can only act as a boost during the remaining months of what is a gruelling year of football.

The squad have been in high spirits during training sessions and there is a real feel-good factor around the place at the moment, but the manager doesn't want to get ahead of himself with the fixtures now coming thick and fast. He has been encouraged by what he has witnessed in all areas of the pitch and he has challenged his players to keep improving.

"I'm not after pats on the back at all. If you play well then fair enough, but don't go overboard because it's only game. Likewise, if you don't play well you can't be too negative as there is always the chance to put it right next time out.

"Defensively, without setting yourself a target, you have an idea of how many clean sheets you would need if you want to be successful. They are important at any level of football because it gives stability and offers you a platform to go and win games.

"You can always strive to do better, but if as a team you are keeping the number of chances conceded down to a minimum, that is all you can do. It's a difficult league and there isn't much between teams at times, so you have to be clinical up the other end too.

"Results invariably come down to how you do in both boxes and we just hope that when chances do come our way, we can take them. If we can give the forwards more to go at with more crosses and so on, they have a better chance of finding the net."


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