James Gibbons claims he is 'gutted' to miss out on this evening's Checkatrade Trophy Quarter Final with Bristol Rovers, but is happy with his recent form since the turn of the year.
The young full-back has been a mainstay in the Port Vale starting eleven since the start of 2019, and he has certainly been relishing the opportunity given to him by Neil Aspin.
However, due to picking a couple of yellow cards in the Checkatrade Trophy, he is ruled out of Vale's trip to Bristol Rovers this evening as they look to book their place in the semi-final of the cup competition.
Despite missing out, he is positive about Vale's chances claiming the label 'underdog' may give them the advantage over the other teams left in.
He said: "It's gutting in any game you miss, especially when you hit a good run of form - I've played every game since the start of the new year.
"The run we're on in the cup, there's prizes on the line, there's money on the line for the club so we've just got to take it a game at a time and see as far as we can go."
On a potential Wembley outing, James added: "It's at the back of your mind but you can't go thinking we're going to get to Wembley and have a good day out because we still have two games to go.
"There's still a lot of good teams still in, so you could say we are the underdogs because we're the team who other people are looking to draw.
"That probably helps us a bit, going in the underdogs, because we're not expected to beat the so called bigger teams."
Gibbons has hailed the performance of the entire team that played in last Saturday's victory over Crawley Town, claiming a win was needed in what was a mentally tough game.
Ricky Miller made his first start of the year to score the only goal of the game and ensure The Valiants took all three points off Crawley, ending a winless run in the league that dated back to November.
Debuts were handed to new signings Adam Crookes and Danny Elliot, and James claims the whole team 'pulled together' in order to get the three points.
He said: "It was a massive game, but as a player, they're the games you've got to thrive off at the end of the day.
"It's all well and good doing it when you're on a good run of form, but when the going gets tough, that's when you see the mental side of the game and we pulled together, because if we didn't win that, it was looking pretty grim."