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“There’s nothing to fear other than ourselves” says John Askey after Stevenage win.

12 January 2020

Port Vale picked up an important three points yesterday when they travelled to the Lamex Stadium to take on Stevenage, with a late Tom Pope penalty securing the win.

The gaffer was left very pleased after the win as it helped fight against the stigma felt throughout the season that his side struggle to defeat the teams below them.

The win was Vale’s first ever away at Stevenage and Askey commended his team for how well they played in difficult conditions against a side that was hard to break down.

To keep fighting hard to break down such a defensively solid team, after playing five games in 14 days, impressed the boss who highlighted the attitude shown by his players in the game.

The win also displayed how Vale are capable of beating any side in the league, above or below them, at home or away, if they play their football according to Askey, who added how they should not worry about any team they face.

He said: “It was a test of their attitude and it’s a great win, it puts us in a good position and that was always going to be the test because it wasn’t easy conditions today, we started well and then the game became bitty because of the conditions but to come away with a win is fantastic.

“It doesn’t matter who you play in this league, it’s always tough, they’re fighting for their lives, and obviously the conditions don’t make it easy to get the ball down and play but we stood up to them and it’s full credit to the players because that’s what I was looking at, how they’ll react to what’s happened so far this season but their attitude was great, we didn’t want the season to just peter out and if they keep doing that it won’t.

“At Salford it was important to rest one or two, so they came into this game fresh, it was always going to be a tough game here but if you can come to places like this and get results, as we’ve proven throughout the season, there’s nothing to fear other than ourselves.

“Second-half they [Stevenage] had the wind behind them as well, so it would’ve been really tough [to win the game] but it was great, Tom [Conlon] threw us a bit of guts and determination and got us the pen, and if you want anyone stepping up to take it, Popey’s the man.”

Tom Pope scored his second goal in as many games in 2020, his 110th Port Vale goal, and Askey emphasised just how key he is to the team and how much Pope cares about the success of the club.

The gaffer also picked out James Gibbons’ late goal line clearance as a vital part of the game, which displayed the effort levels shown by the players all match to make sure they came away with three points.   

The win leaves the Vale just six points off the Play-Off positions and third and Askey expressed how wins in games like yesterday play a big part in the mental side of what it takes to keep pushing on and finish in a Play-Off spot.

He said: “Tom, like the rest of us always wants the best for Port Vale, and to see us where we are at the moment hopefully we can improve as well.

“It [the attitude] was epitomised when James Gibbons cleared the ball off the line, you could say that won us the game really.

“There’s a gap been created between us and the team below us, we’re six points off the third position so they’ve [the players] just got to keep doing what they’ve been doing and that is every single one of them puts a real shift in when they play and if they can do that until the end of the season then we’ve got a real chance.”


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