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Nathan Smith: "It was a tough one to take."

10 February 2019

Nathan Smith was left feeling frustrated following Saturday’s defeat to Cambridge United, but he insists there were positives to take from John Askey’s first game in charge.

David Amoo’s 19th-minute strike separated the two sides come the final whistle, but Vale had several chances themselves, with Tom Pope also seeing a goal controversially ruled out for offside.

The defeat was the Valiants’ first away from home in seven league outings and Smith thought a point would’ve been deserved, but he acknowledges that he and his teammates need to keep fighting for results.

He said: “It was a very tough one to take, especially considering the chances we created early on. For them to then go a goal up and us not being able to pull one back, I think it was unjust.

“A draw would’ve been what we deserved, but we can go away from it taking positives. We’ve also got to improve on things as well because not keeping a clean sheet has cost us today.

“The main positive you can take from the game is that we created a lot of opportunities, and we perhaps should’ve been a couple of goals up before they scored.

“We need to start taking our chances and then the points will come, but if we don’t, we need to stick it out as a defence and hold onto at least a 0-0 draw.”

Askey will take charge of his first game at Vale Park next weekend as Morecambe make the trip to Burslem, and Smith is determined to secure a crucial set of three points in front of the home support.

The defender knows that the next few fixtures could be key when it comes to deciding Vale’s position in Sky Bet League Two, but he believes that the squad have enough to drag themselves away from danger.

“The Morecambe game is massive, and we know that in the next month we’ve got to play a lot of the teams around us,” Smith said.

“If we can get seven points from the next three or four games, we can pull away from them. We know each one of them are massive fixtures, but we’ll take them one at a time and treat them all the same.

“If the players perform in the way we can do, there’s no doubt in my mind that we can get all three points next weekend.

“John Askey and Dave Kevan haven’t had a lot of time to put their stamp on things, but every player is seeing what the gaffer is about and they’re buying into it.

“He only picks 11 players to go out on the pitch, so it’s down to us because he can’t come on and help us. He’s there to give us all of the information, but it’s our job to get the points on a matchday.”


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