Neil Aspin admits that Vale will use the performance at Lincoln City on New Year’s Day as a benchmark as they look to push up the Sky Bet League Two Table.
The Valiants currently lie 19th, but the manager is hoping that his players can build on a positive couple of weeks by recording a home victory over Colchester United this weekend.
Despite acknowledging that it will be a difficult task for Vale, Aspin believes his side can match the U’s if they perform to their full capabilities, and he is looking to seek revenge after the defeat in Essex earlier this season.
He said: “It’s too early to be saying that we’ve turned a corner, but the Lincoln game has to be used to remind the players of what’s needed if they’re going to pick up points.
“You can always turn back to that, but we need to string together a run of results now. I’d never doubt the players’ efforts to do that.
“We’ve got a difficult game tomorrow against a team who were very good against us in the second game of the season, and on that performance, they were one of the best teams in the league.
“They will really test us defensively and we’re going to have to make sure we defend well against them. When you’re struggling for a win like we have been, you probably don’t want to play Colchester.
“We have to raise our game and do better than we did in the match down there where we were second best from early on.
“They dominated the game and they should’ve won by more than the two goals, so we know what we’re up against.
“It’s a big test for the players, but they got through a similar challenge at Lincoln, and they’ve got to make sure they’re at the same levels against Colchester.”
With a portion of the transfer window now behind us, Aspin admits that he has been working tirelessly in order to strengthen the group of players at his disposal, but it’s proving to be tricky to draft in new players.
Several peripheral members of the Vale squad have already been offloaded to free up space, and although the manager is only expecting to secure loan deals, he is determined to do some business between now and the end of the month.
“We speak to a lot of people and there are plenty of players that we would’ve gladly taken, including one that we would’ve liked to get in this week, but it hasn’t happened,” he revealed.
“You’ve just got to keep trying until the window closes, but by the time we get to the end of January, I’m confident that we will get a couple of bodies in.”