It has been over a year now since Danny Pugh first took on a coaching role at the Vale, and he admits that he is still learning a lot as a First Team coach.
Pugh joined the Vale from Blackpool back in January 2017 and acted as a key figure for the remainder of that campaign, and then for the majority of the 2017/18 season. Since then, he has taken a step back from his duties on the field to concentrate on his coaching responsibilities.
The Vale coach is still contracted as a player however, and has previously received praise from Askey for his important link between the players and the management staff; he has been named on the bench twice this season, against Exeter and Mansfield.
The 37-year-old has enjoyed a long playing career since making his debut for Manchester United in 2002, having stints at a host of clubs including the likes of Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End, yet Pugh describes how much he is enjoying being a part of Askey's back room staff.
The Vale reserves faced West Brom earlier this week with the player-coach taking charge of the squad, and Pugh was able to give an update on Tom Conlon.
“Obviously the results are going well and it’s still a new experience for myself, but I’m loving every minute of it.
“I just feel at this moment in time I’m learning a lot, I’m enjoying what I’m doing, so no complaints at the moment.
“Tom’s [Conlon] looked good since his first training session he’s come back to be honest, fitness wise he’s looked good, sharpness wise he’s looked good, so yeah he’s not far off. He played well in the reserve game the other day which was a good game for him so yeah he’s there or there abouts."
The Vale are enjoying a strong run of form at the moment, and could move into a play-off place with a win on the weekend, however Pugh says it's too early to be concentrating on the league table.
Its just one loss in the last 12 in all competitions for the Valiants, and the Vale player-coach admits that squad are keeping their feet firmly on the ground and working as hard as they can.
The Valiants travel to Scunthorpe United on Saturday afternoon, and Pugh says he is expecting another tough game.
“I don’t tend to look at it [league table] to be honest, it’s still very early on in the season, we’ve not even got to Christmas yet so to look that far ahead, it’s a bit early.
"We’re just keeping our feet firmly on the ground, we’re working as hard as we can, we’re not looking too far ahead, we’re just going to try and keep doing what we’re doing.
“They’re [Scunthorpe] a decent team, they’ve got a good manager and some good players so it will be another big test for us, every game in this league is a difficult, difficult game and this will be no different."