Tom Conlon has had to remain patient for opportunities recently, but the midfielder was given the nod to start against Notts County on Saturday afternoon, and he rewarded the faith shown in him with a strong performance.
The 23-year-old played the full 90 minutes during the stalemate at Meadow Lane, and having now worked with John Askey for almost a month, he believes that the new manager has brought in some positive changes at Vale Park.
Despite not registering a win under Askey yet, Conlon has been impressed with the improved performances of late and he is confident that the Valiants can start to pull away from danger in Sky Bet League Two.
He said: “It’s really starting to come together now, and although we only got a point at Notts County, there were a lot of positives to take from that game.
“We’re all buying into the gaffer and we believe we can do that - I’m sure we will too. It comes from training and just how intense everything has been, that his given everyone a lift and the lads are getting close to their best now.
“Everyone is fighting for it and that’s exactly what we’re doing to do for the remainder of the season, and if we can build on the performance at Notts County, we’ve still got more to give to start winning games again."
Vale's next fixture sees them welcome promotion-chasing Mansfield Town to Burslem, and despite acknowledging that the Stags will be a tough opponent to get the better of, Conlon is upbeat.
He and his teammates are keen to end a poor run of form on home soil, and with the positives from the Notts County clash fresh in the back of their minds, the midfielder is keen to harness that feel-good factor.
He said: "Mansfield are doing well to be fair to them, but in this league anyone can beat anyone. If we apply ourselves like we did on Saturday with the amount of high intensity running we did, I think we’ll give them real problems.
“We do desperately need a win at home and we all know that. The point at Notts County was a platform, but we really want to build on that, with the best way being by picking up three points at home.
“I thought we were solid on Saturday and we were so together, everyone was on it. From now on until the end of the season, every game is massive so we need to continue applying ourselves like that.”