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John Askey pleased to be four games unbeaten

17 March 2019

Despite the horrendous conditions, Vale battled it out at The County Ground to secure a well-earned point against Swindon Town and the gaffer is delighted with the way his Vale side are playing.

At a ground where Vale have struggled over the years, it was never going to be an easy task to go to Swindon and pick up three points. Made worse by the blowing wind, Vale put in a defensively sound performance to grind out a result at The County Ground.

With the wind against in the first-half, Vale came under a tonne of pressure as Swindon were pushing and pushing for the first goal of the game. Despite Swindon's dominance in the first-half, both sides headed down the tunnel with the scoreline level.

With the game-plan to use the wind to their advantage in the second-period, the gaffer was left slightly frustrated that Vale didn't make as many chances as he would've liked. However, he was happy with the point earned at The County Ground.

He said: "An excellent point - as everyone's talked about, the conditions were horrendous to play football in, but the lads have battled and it's a good point. 

"We're now four games unbeaten so I'm really pleased. To go in at 0-0 you've got to be happy considering how strong the wind was.

"The disappointing part was that second-half, we couldn't take advantage and they played better football which can sometimes happen when you're playing against the wind.

"One or two of ours tired a little bit, but that was to be expected with the effort that they've put in over the last few weeks."

Something that Askey highlighted after the game was how impressed he was with his defence. Vale made it three clean sheets in their last four games on Saturday, and in the the game that one goal was shipped, the Valiants went onto beat Mansfield Town 2-1 at Vale Park.

Despite calling the defensive work a 'team effort', the boss has hailed the performance of Nathan Smith who made his 150th appearance for the Vale, aged just 22.

Smith impressed once again against Swindon on Saturday, but it's not just his work on the pitch that has impressed Askey since his arrival.

Askey said: "It's the whole team. When people are working hard and closing down then obviously you don't have to defend so much.

"It is a team effort and that's why we're keeping the clean sheets and not having so many shots on our goal."

On Smith, Askey said: "It's excellent to play 150 games at 22. I thought Nathan did really well today. He's had to defend and everything he's had to do he's done well. 

"Nathan always does his best, whether that's training or in a game, he always tries to do things right. He's not the loudest person but you can always rely on him - he's a tough character and he wants to do well for the club."

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