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Interviews

Nathan Smith: "I'm over the moon with it."

17 March 2019

Saturday's clean sheet away to Swindon Town was a fitting way to mark a landmark number of appearances for Nathan Smith who appeared at the heart of the Vale defence for the 150th time, despite still only being 22 years of age.

After making his debut against Bradford City back in 2016, Smith has been an ever present in the Valiants' back line and he helped John Askey's men to a valuable point at the County Ground this weekend.

Following the game, the Staffordshire-born centre-back was delighted with the achievement, and he admits that he never thought he would have reached that many competitive games at this stage of his career.

He said: "For it to come as quickly as it has, I never thought that would happen. After I made my debut I thought I would get in the team here and there before pushing for a regular starting place, but I'm over the moon with it.

"To play with experienced players is vital as you can always pick their brains and ask them questions, so they help you learn and improve as a player.

"I would like to thank them for helping me this season. Hopefully I can continue to get better, and they will certainly play a part in that."

The 0-0 stalemate against the Robins means Vale are now on a four-game unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two, and they have picked up eight points from those fixtures to move further away from Notts County and Macclesfield Town who lie in the bottom two.

Swirling winds meant the conditions were not ideal on Saturday afternoon, but Smith insists the players stood up to the elements well to take what he feels was a deserved point on their travels.

He said: "Just from kick-off and with things like goal kicks, the wind made everything much more difficult. Everyone knew what the game was going to be like and it was never likely to be one for the spectators.

"It was a scrappy game, but we fought hard and came away with a point so I think everyone is happy. When you play against the wind you took yourselves in, play defensive, and hope you go into the break without conceding.

"Then you can come out and be more attacking in the second half, but I don't think we got going. Neither of the teams had any great chances, and from the off we all knew it was going to be a fight.

"When the defenders go out on a Saturday, their first thought is keeping a clean sheet and the goal scoring can be done by people in front. To get three in our last four games and to be on an unbeaten run is definitely a high - you can tell in the dressing room that confidence is flying."


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