The excitement around Vale Park is still palpable after Port Vale drew Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cup, but Luke Joyce expressed how important it is to keep eyes on the games ahead.
Despite the buzz that there is for the upcoming clash, Joyce emphasised how the team must not lose sight of their league ambitions and make sure they keep working hard to climb the table.
Although the trip to the Etihad is great for the player’s morale, Joyce made it clear how everyone needs to keep their form in order to ensure their space in the team for the FA Cup clash.
Joyce also commended the mentality of the dressing room, where he feels the blend of youth and experience has been central to the development and success of the side so far.
Having heads like Tom Pope and Leon Legge there to advise younger players such as Jake Taylor can be instrumental according to Joyce as the team prepare for the games over the Christmas period.
He said: “If you look after the next few games and perform and do well as a team then you can enjoy it [Man City game] then, but now it’s all about Crawley tomorrow.
“It’s great to have it [Man City game] there, it’s nice, but at the same time if you don’t do your job now in the next few weeks then you might not find yourself on the pitch at Man City.
“Whenever you play you’re always trying to help the people closest to you in a similar position, and you’re trying to help other players within the team, you help each other as a team.
“If I can offer a bit of help to Jake Taylor or Scott Burgess then that’s great, I talk to them as much as possible, I enjoy talking, I enjoy talking on the pitch, I enjoy talking in training, in the changing room and hopefully that’s helping people.
“I think we’ve got good leaders and I think we’ve got good young players as well.”
Joyce was unable to feature in Vale’s last game, where they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Walsall, due to suspension, but is available for selection again and is eager to get back on the pitch.
The midfielder admitted that he has been happier with his performances this season and that the whole club feels a better place than last year, praising John Askey’s approach to matches.
Joyce remains confident that the club will get straight back to their winning ways in the league after two disappointing results, starting with tomorrow’s trip to Crawley Town.
He said: “It’s frustrating to miss any game, especially through suspension, but it’s nice to be back involved and I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow.
“The role that the gaffer wants me to play is a role that I enjoy, I’d say it’s probably my best position, the position where I’m most comfortable and I can have the best effect on the team.
“The club as a whole is just a lot better place to be, the changing room’s good, the lads we’ve got in the changing room they’re a really good bunch of lads and alongside that we’ve got the gaffer, Dave [Kevan] and [Danny] Pughy.
“We just didn’t perform on the day [Walsall] and I think the lads know that, it’s not like the lads walked in Monday with their chins on the floor just after one game, we’ve had good wins previous to that and it’s just getting back to that, knowing what we’re good at and putting in 100% effort to go and get three points tomorrow.”