Speaking ahead of their opening game against Colchester United, Vale manager Askey said his team can “compete against anyone” the league has to offer.
The gaffer expressed how he believes his side are well prepared and in a good position going forward after a good pre-season, but knows how much of a challenge the opening fixture will be.
After a productive summer, the squad has been improved and is now ready to step up after last season’s disappointing campaign, with 10 new faces joining the dressing room, and they are motivated to work hard and get results.
The new signings have all bonded well within the team and the performances across pre-season displayed the hard work that has been put in by Askey and his staff, leaving the gaffer confident ahead of his first full season at the club.
He said: “We know going there [Colchester] is going to be tough, but as we’ve said all along, it doesn’t matter who you play in the league, it’s about us.
“I think we've got a stronger squad, a more athletic squad, than previous, but also we know the league has improved, teams have come down and teams have come up, but there’s no reason why we can’t compete against anybody.
“I think we got competition in all places, and that’s what you want.”
With a strong, driven squad, that has good depth, Askey has faith his team can do well in the league, and hopes that they continue to avoid injury problems.
Askey did not want to look too far ahead, and instead is taking each game one week at a time, in order to get the best out of his squad who will have to compete each week for places in the side.
The boss acknowledged how difficult of a journey Colchester away is to start the season off, but sees no reason why his side can’t come away with the points, as he looks to start off well, insisting that the journey will not be an issue.
He said: “We’re fresh, so there’s no excuses, it gets one out of the way, it’s a long trip early on.
“We’ve got to play everybody, so it doesn’t matter when you play them, it’s how you perform.
“It’s an old cliché, but you take every game as it comes and you have to move onto the next one, and that’s how you win leagues.”