Port Vale goalkeeper Scott Brown believes the Valiants have had the hardest start out of every team in the league but should be pleased with how they’ve performed.
Despite the tough opening to the start of the season, the Valiants have picked up nine points from their first seven fixtures this season, having faced three sides that finished in the top 10 last season.
One of the reasons for Vale’s decent start to the season has been their ability to prevent conceding multiple goals in games, with Grimsby the only time this season that more than one goal has gone past Brown.
With Askey implementing a certain style of play that has given Vale an identity, Brown believes the side have gained the confidence to feel as though they can challenge any team in the league.
He said: “On the whole we’ve had an ok start, if you look at our first how many games we’ve had then I don’t think there’s any team in the league that will have had as tough a start as we’ve had.
“It’s about going into every game and looking at other teams strengths and weaknesses but ultimately focus on ourselves because we believe what we’ve got in the dressing room is good enough and more than a match for anyone on their day.
“For me personally, I never stop trying to improve, never stop trying to work on things, and I even passed one out with my left foot.”
That desire to keep working hard and improving can be seen by the squad throughout the early stages of the season, and Brown believes this has been exemplified by Gibbons’ ability to both attack and defend throughout matches.
The 5-2 defeat away at Grimsby is seen as a blip in Vale’s start to the season but Brown has stressed that they can’t afford to forget that game in order to make sure they learn from their mistakes and don’t let them happen again.
Vale face recently relegated side Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, a team that have a started the season relatively well and have also kept themselves busy by recruiting heavily, including a player captain Tom Pope rates highly in Danny Mayor.
The home form has been central to what Askey wants from his team and he remains confident that they can beat any side that travels to Vale Park this season, a view that is shared by Brown.
He said: “Gibbo’s [Gibbons] especially has been brilliant going forward and at the back as well… apart from the Grimsby game we’ve been quite pleased with how we’ve been defending.
“I don’t think we can forget about that one [Grimsby] at all, because we need to keep reminding ourselves that every single game, what we need to do and what we didn’t do that game to get a result.
“You could say they [Plymouth] have the best individual players in the league, we know what a tough game it’s going to be… and we know we’ve got a tough week but we look forward to it.”