Nathan Smith detailed how happy he is at Vale Park this season following his Man of the Match performance in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Leyton Orient.
The academy graduate discussed how he has played during difficult times for the club but now the side are used to winning games he is loving playing his football more than ever before.
After a few seasons Smith described as not what the club expect, to being playing attractive football, getting results and climbing towards a Play-Off spot is boosting his performances and making the club a pleasurable place.
Smith stated how a Play-Off finish is the aim for the club and that the team are getting to the right place to achieve that, with them ready to pounce on any opportunity that arises.
The defender also expressed how thankful he is to the fans for their support towards him this season, adding how key they are in helping the side out during matches.
He said: “Winning games makes them more enjoyable, it makes that feel good factor around the club, that little bit of a buzz in the changing room, the morale’s high and I think I’m enjoying my football probably the most I have in my career.
“It’s been not good enough the last few years and everyone around the club knows that and I think it’s time to get us back where we belong, I think I’m getting the most out of it and I think it’s bringing the best out of me and the players around me are helping and talking and I think it’s one of them that I’m enjoying and I think I’m going to take the most from it.
“Before these last three games we were three points off third and three points off the Play-Off’s or something like that, which goes to show how tight it is and we’re there ready to pounce as soon as a team makes a hick-up or loses a few games, we’re going to be there to push on it and take their position.
“I think you’ve got to take your hat off to the fans, it’s been three or four years of doom and gloom and to stick with us and to drag us through games like they have, especially at home, our home form shows it’s perhaps not just to do with the amount of fans that are there dragging us through, to get a little bit of praise is always nice but I think we owe them one and hopefully we get we deserve at the end of the year.”
Yesterday’s win over the O’s was another important step in the teams battle to achieve their aim and Smith praised the team for their efforts as they bounced straight back to winning ways after defeat at Morecambe.
Vale secured their ninth clean sheet of the season yesterday and the defender highlighted how that’s always his number one aim and there’s no better feeling than when it’s achieved.
Next up the Vale take on high flying sides Swindon Town and Exeter City, but Smith admitted how he is excited for the challenges and that the team will go into the game without fear, knowing that they are capable of beating any side they face.
He said: “To bounce back from Tuesday was the first and foremost and to do it how we did is a cherry on top, a clean sheet for the defenders, a great game for creating chances, perhaps should’ve scored a lot more but all in all a great day and it puts us in great stead for the next few games.
“You go into games and you don’t worry about scoring or anything like that, your first thought is keeping clean sheets and don’t let the strikers have chances, to come out of a game with a clean sheet is that sort of feeling a striker gets when he scores.
“Our form shows against the top teams we do quite well and hopefully we continue that, but to come up against the best strikers in the league, it’s always nice to see where you are and if you get the better of them, it’s one we’re all going to go into enjoying it and knowing that if we play how we play we’re going to get points and win games.”