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Hard work key to winning games says Dave Kevan

19 March 2019

From day one at Vale Park, Port Vale's Assistant Manager Dave Kevan made it clear that the players would be put through their paces in order to get their poor form back on track.

Despite the slow start for Askey and Kevan, the month of March has seen a complete turn around in terms of the clubs form in the league, which has also see Vale adopt a new style of play against the opposition.

High pressing and a high tempo will of course require a lot of energy and fitness levels will need to be sky high. These two key components is certainly something Dave Kevan has focused on when taking the players in training.

"There's no secret, you're asking and demanding that their levels (fitness) increase. If they do that then all of a sudden the intensity with and without the ball improves them.

"There's no magic, they're just running a bit harder than probably what we've been seeing from them in the past. We have the GPS system which helps us monitor the types of work their doing and the amount their doing in terms of intensity and that's a big help.

"The mindset is different, they know they have to work, they know what's needed, they know what's required. If you're going to win football matches you have to work hard simple as that and that realisation is there now."

One player they've been left without in recent weeks is captain and top goalscorer, Tom Pope. The striker picked up a knee injury away at Notts County which has forced him to miss out the past few games.

Despite Popey's injury the Valiants have failed to let that affect them with players stepping up across the team to score the goals. It's a complete contrast to this time last year where Popey missed out for an entire month, and the Vale struggled to find the back of the net.

The pressure on Popey is something that Kevan is pleased to have seen lifted from his shoulders with the way Vale have performed this month, and says it's relief not to have to rush the record breaking striker back to the team.

"He hasn't been out on the training pitch working with us, he's still working with our physio Alex. He maybe looking to get back in towards the back end of the week, possibly Thursday or Friday. At the moment it's a day to day thing.

"It's important for Tom, it takes a little bit of pressure off him. Knowing Tom and the lad he is, he's depserate to get out there and play his part.

"No doubt he will do between now and the end of the season but hopefully we can get him back out there when he's fully fit and ready to go."


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