Adam Crookes has said that the fan support at Vale Park can make Port Vale a feared away trip ahead of their first home game of the season against Northampton Town.
The versatile defender, spoke about how good the mood around the club has been, especially following their positive opening day result away at Colchester United.
He noted how the morale and bonding of the team, helped by events such as the trip to Scotland, have been important going into the new season, and they are still getting stronger.
The dressing room is not the only place that Crookes has noticed a lift in spirits, saying that the whole club feels better than it did last season, and he is pleased that he is able to be part of the new era, where he hopes to repay fan support.
Crookes picked out the work done by manager John Askey as the most vital element heading forward, as he used the pre-season time to make the squad his own and mould them towards his style of football.
He said: “On balance, looking back, it was a good result to get the season started.
“There’s a lot of good characters that have come in, we’re building good bonds throughout the team, and I think you can see week on week in training, that’s growing.
“He’s [Askey] good, he gets us working hard, I think he’s really big on the pressing and the high tempo, he likes us to get up the pitch, get man to man.
“We’ve been working hard this pre-season and hopefully we can bring that into the season.”
That drive to work hard on the pitch and get results, is shared by all the members of the dressing room, and Crookes noted how strong the togetherness of the team is, a quality he saw the importance of during his time at League Two winners Lincoln City last season.
The excitement to play the first home game is felt throughout the squad, and the defender said that they are prepared for the physical challenge that Northampton will pose.
That excitement, in the eyes of Crookes, has been heightened by the passion shown by the supporters so far this season, and he believes that the atmosphere they generate can make Vale Park an intimidating place for travelling sides.
He said: “It’s not all about ability for teams that do well, togetherness is massive, and I feel like already this year it feels better with this squad.
“We expect. Big teams, we expect strong, technical teams in this league, and it’s just another test really.
“We’re looking forward to getting playing in front of the home fans, and show what we can do.
“You can feel that buzz, definitely, I think that’s key for a home side, if your home fans get behind you and really push you on, it can be a daunting place to come for away teams.”