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John Askey: "If you're making chances, they eventually start to go in."

19 February 2019

Despite John Askey's reign as Port Vale boss beginning with back-to-back defeats, the manager insists that he has seen enough in the performances to suggest that his side can turn their fortunes around.

The Valiants registered 18 attempts during Saturday's defeat to Morecambe, but they found Mark Halstead in inspired form, with the goalkeeper making a few superb saves to keep the ball out.

Although Askey acknowledges Vale have to do more to find the back of the net, he has been encouraged by the amount of opportunities being created, and he has reassured the players that goals will start to come.

He said: "On Saturday their goalkeeper has pulled off at least two saves that he probably wouldn't normally make, but it was just one of those days for him. Other than that, he did have to make a few more that were perhaps more comfortable.

"It was disappointing and if the penalty had gone in we may have been looking at a comfortable win, but it wasn't to be and we all move on. My job is to keep all of the players upbeat and make them realise that they're not far away.

"I've always thought that if you're making chances, they eventually start to go in. That's the message to the players really, to keep getting in there - it doesn't matter if you miss - the main thing is getting into those positions and then they will start to hit the back of the net. 

"The majority of our chances fell to Tom Pope at the weekend, but we just need one or two more creating things for themselves and getting in there like he is now."

With the defeat to Morecambe marking Askey's first home game in the dugout as Vale boss, he is eager to secure that first victory at the helm, and he would love that to come when Tranmere Rovers make the trip to Burslem on Tuesday night. 

Vale's home form is something that needs improving quickly as the battle at the bottom end of Sky Bet League Two hots up, but Askey is hopeful that the players can shake off that burden as soon as possible to restore belief around the place.

He said: "We know the importance of it and it changes things dramatically if we can get that win, and that would give us the confidence that enables the players to start to believe in what we're doing.

"I know a lot about Tranmere from last year and the majority of the squad is still the same as it was last season. I've seen them three or four times this season, so we know what to expect - the big threat is James Norwood.

"We haven't been playing poorly and it's not as if we haven't been creating opportunities. Tthe players who have played for me have worked really hard and on other occasions, they would've got wins.

"It hasn't quite gone for us so far, but there isn't a lot to change. I'm always looking for ways to improve and if that means an alteration somewhere or a change of system so be it, but you've got to have the players to fit that.

"All that matters now is the next game. It doesn't matter whether you're at the top or the bottom of the table, all we can do now is focus on Tranmere."


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