Tomorrow the Vale will make the much anticipated trip to Crewe Alexandra, and John Askey has emphasised how it’s one everyone at the club is looking forward to.
The Valiants head to rivals Crewe, having won the last two encounters and the gaffer is hoping they can make it three wins in a row against the Alex.
The fixture will be Askey’s first time at Gresty Road as Port Vale manager, and he has been eager for the game to come around as it is one that all the players and fans relish.
With 2,300 travelling Valiants set to fill two sides of the ground, Askey praised the fans for their support this season and reiterated how key they can be for the team.
He said: “It’s the one you look at at the start of the season, it’s bragging rights until the next game, obviously at the moment we still have the bragging rights having won the last few games so I’m sure Crewe will be trying their hardest to turn that over but it’s a really important fixture for us.
“We know there’s going to be a decent crowd, a good following from ourselves, so it’s only natural for a player to want to play in those sorts of games, and derby games are always a little bit more tasty than other games.
“It’s a first for myself and again our supporters can make a massive difference to us, if we can start well I know that they’ll really get behind us as they always do especially away from home, create a good atmosphere, hopefully it’s one we can do ourselves justice in.”
“It’s the one you look at at the start of the season, it’s bragging rights until the next game, obviously at the moment we still have the bragging rights having won the last few games so I’m sure Crewe will be trying their hardest to turn that over but it’s a really important fixture for us.
Crewe sit top of the table, and enter the match with an eight game unbeaten run, but Askey said their form has had no impact on preparation for the game.
The gaffer ensured confidence is high amongst the squad, with the Vale losing just once in their last eight games, and as a local lad Askey knows how special the fixture is, especially now both teams are on the rise.
That confidence was boosted by the win at Bradford City and the gaffer hopes to reward the fans support with another three points on the road.
He said: “Obviously they’ll go into the game with confidence but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t either, we’ve lost one in eight so we’re not doing too bad ourselves so it’s a good fixture and it’s probably the first time in a while that both teams are doing ok.
“It’s one [a fixture] that throughout the years there’s always been something special, probably more so now than ever, at one stage, especially when I was younger, Crewe were always the whipping boys.
“We’re doing ok, last couple of games at home we would’ve liked to have performed better, but the away fixture at Bradford was probably our best performance of the season so we’re going into the game with plenty of confidence and hopefully we can come away with the three points.”