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John Askey insists there's still plenty to play for ahead of the season finishing

12 April 2019

Port Vale manager John Askey has made it clear to his players that despite the recent improvement in results, the players still have to work hard and finish the season strong in preparation for next season.

With the 2018/2019 campaign coming to a close in just under a months time, this will be a time where contract talks will be on the mind for the gaffer and who deserves one for next season.

The Valiants status as a League Two club is almost secure for next season after last months run of results which put the Valiants third in the leagues form table over seven. 

Askey oversaw the Vale secure a total of 14 points out of a potential 21 and it couldn't have come at a better time. With preparations underway now for the trip to Exeter City tomorrow, Askey expects the same hard working attitude.

"It does look as though we're nearly there. Hopefully we can get three points tomorrow and I feel that would finally be it on 50 points.

"We're looking to finish the season well, continue what we've been doing and hopefully that'll be the case. The players are playing for contracts...

"Whether that's with Port Vale or other clubs, but I think the main thing for us as a football club is finishing the season off right. We have to take this confidence into the following season."

One aspect of the team that the manager has been really impressed with in recent weeks is the form in his defence are in.

The back four against Crewe Alexandra at the weekend had an average age of 21, consisting of Mitchell Clark, Kyle Howkins, Nathan Smith and Adam Crookes.

At just 22 years old, Nathan Smith holds the most appearances out of the back four that featured against Crewe. Many would argue that an average age of 21 is an inexperienced back four, but that didn't stop them keeping their 15th clean sheet of the season and that has really pleased the manager.

"They've done really well, whether that's been with Kyle who's come in the past couple of games or Leggey in at centre half. I think it's 15 clean sheets over the season which is remarkable!

"To think of the position we're in, that's usually promotion form when you keep clean sheets like that. It's been a massive bonus.

"It's not just the back four it's the whole team. Scott Brown's had an excellent season, how he works in training, conducts himself and how he plays. He's done a great job since I've come in!"

 


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