Cristian Montano has praised his fellow teammates for their attitude and mentality in recent weeks, after they came from behind to draw against Macclesfield Town yesterday.
The Vale took the lead in the first-half thanks to a David Worrall goal, but were stunned in the second period when two goals in quick succession put the Silkmen in front.
Montano was pleased by how the team responded however, expressing how impressive their work ethic was to remain on top and get a goal back, especially having played three games in 7 days.
The way every player maintained their fitness over the Christmas period was commended by Montano, who emphasised how the five points they’ve picked up since Christmas has helped the team get back on track in the league, with still just one home defeat all season.
John Askey and his staff were also credited by Montano for the work they have done on the training ground to get the squad into a strong position as they enter the new year.
He said: “The way we’re playing now is hard work, high press, and it does take a lot out of your legs, but the way we train, the way we’re conditioning in training it prepares us for games like this.
“You get players out there that over the last three games, each individual is covering over 10K a game, which is a testament to how hard we work in training and the sessions that the gaffer and everyone’s putting us through.
“We’ve looked after each other so well in the Christmas period and it shows over the last few games that we’ve had, and now we’ve just got to carry on looking after ourselves, we’ve not won anything yet, we’ve not achieved nothing yet and we’ve just got to stay humble and take the positive out of today’s game.
“We ended up getting the point and we’ve got to take the positive from that, we’ve not lost, we’ve lost once at home in the league this season, and we’ve got to continue that into the new year.”
Montano received plaudits himself, as he secured back-to-back Man of the Match awards for his performances against Swindon and Macclesfield, something he is proud of after being affected by the Boxing day draw at Mansfield.
The chance for Montano to make it three Man of the Match awards in a row will come this Saturday when the Vale travel to the Etihad to take on the champions of England, Manchester City, in the FA Cup, a game that he believes the whole club need to really enjoy.
With over 8000 fans travelling to the game, Montano discussed how he feels everyone involved with the club deserve the special day after a few difficult years, and they need to enjoy the experience of taking on one of the best teams in the world.
Although everyone should appreciate the experience, Montano admitted that the players must stay focussed and go out to play their football, enjoy the match and give it everything they can.
He said: “It feels good to have got Man of the Match, especially after what happened at Mansfield, it was a game that bothered me after, I was bothered by how the game ended but I had to bounce back.
“It’s [Man City] going to be an amazing experience for everyone involved with the club, the players, fans, owners, the staff, it’s going to be an amazing experience.
“After being here for three seasons now, they’ve been quite tough as a player and for the fans as well, now the Man City game is something they’re going to enjoy, I think they’ve enjoyed the season as well with how well we’re playing, how hard we’re working for each other and the Man City game is going to be like a reward for everyone.
“We’ve got to go there and enjoy the game, not get too drawn into the occasion and focus on our game, just have fun really, that’s the main focus for Saturday, just be able to enjoy your football and enjoy the experience as much as we can.”