Vale manager on his belief in his players as they travel to face League One leaders Plymouth Argyle on Friday night.
- Darrell Clarke | “We go there knowing that if we are at our best, we can give them more than just a game”
- Port Vale manager looks ahead to his side’s League One clash at Plymouth Argyle on Friday evening
- Clarke on the Vale’s qualifying for the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in ten years: “I was really proud of them; I was here with Flicker [David Flitcroft], Cros [Andy Crosby] and Dunny [David Dunn] watching and it was a fantastic performance.”
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke says his players are looking forward to the challenge of facing League One leaders Plymouth Argyle on Friday night.
Clarke’s side head to Devon to face a Pilgrims outfit that have won each of their nine home league games this season, having failed to score in only one of their 25 matches in all competitions in the 2022/23 campaign.
Ten days on from securing progress in the Papa Johns Trophy against Barnsley, Clarke says his side will be ready for the test in front of them.
“We have had a well-earned break, certainly with the summer being very short,” Clarke explained. “The players have had a recharge but also plenty of work on the training pitch when needed as well, so getting the balance of the two is key and hopefully we can show that in our performance on Friday.
“We want to test ourselves against the best team in the league so far; Plymouth are a big club, a well-supported club and the manager has done an excellent job. We go there confident, ready to take on the challenge.
“We have consistency in how we work as a staff and nothing changes; whoever we are playing, their strengths and weaknesses are assessed and we try and combat both of them. We go there knowing that if we are at our best, we can give them more than just a game, we can get after them, we want to get after them. We try to be attacking in the majority of our games this season to try and beat the teams at the top end of the division as well as the ones at the bottom.
“Their home form is outstanding, their fans will be enjoying the journey – I can’t believe they got 80 points last season and didn’t make the top six. They will be licking their wounds from that but they haven’t had a hangover because they’re flying this season. We go there knowing that if my group of players can put on the performance I know they are capable of, we can go there and shock them.”
Clarke was speaking to the press the morning after the Vale’s Under 18s secured their place in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup.
And commenting on the achievement of Scott Ruscoe and Matty Done’s side, he added:
“I was really proud of them. I was here with Flicker [David Flitcroft], Cros [Andy Crosby] and Dunny [David Dunn] watching and it was a fantastic performance.
“It is a really great competition for the lads because it is a real pressure tournament and they have stood up and been counted. It shows how much the Academy has improved since the owners have come in, with Will Ryder leading that with excellent coaches doing a fantastic job.
“Hull are a Category Two Academy, we are Category Three so to beat them as convincingly as we did last night shows massive progress in the last 12 months. We have to keep going and keep improving; the effort and commitment was spot on – our DNA as I call it was there in abundance.”