Defender speaks about the Vale’s strong start to the 2022/23 season and looks ahead to Emirates FA Cup clash with Exeter City.
- Lewis Cass | “We have got a really tight-knit group and we are only looking to progress”
- Port Vale defender on the Emirates FA Cup, Exeter City and his return to Darrell Clarke’s side in recent matches
- Cass: “The lads work hard every single day to get in the squad, myself included, and you work hard each day to take your chance.”
Port Vale defender Lewis Cass has highlighted the tight-knit nature of Darrell Clarke’s squad as a key ingredient to the Vale’s positive start to the 2022/23 season.
Now in his second season at Vale Park following an initial loan spell from Newcastle United, Cass says that the competition within the squad is healthy after returning to the starting XI for the recent League One win against Lincoln City and draw at Wycombe Wanderers.
“It is because of how well Will has done,” Cass said of his month without a league start. “You have to be patient and the time does come in the season when you’ll be called upon and you have to be ready. The lads work hard every single day to get in the squad, myself included, and you work hard each day to take your chance.
“I like to think everyone knows each other’s strengths and weaknesses by this point and we are just looking to use the strengths as much as possible this season and I think we have got a really tight-knit group with the lads coming in, they have only added to the spirit in the camp.
“It is a great group; you can see in training and in matches that each game we play we are only getting stronger and that shows we can hold our own in this league. We are only looking to progress.
“It is a lot tougher; you come up against a lot smarter and quicker opposition and you do need to be a lot more aware out of possession. You can’t switch off at this level because you get punished for it, that is the quality in this league.”
The Vale are sat 10th in League One and have progressed to the knockout stages of the Papa Johns Trophy.
On Saturday, Clarke’s side will kick off their Emirates FA Cup campaign against Exeter City at Vale Park, looking to build on their recent run of form, which has seen 11 points collected in six League One matches.
“It is a great competition,” Cass said of the FA Cup. “If you progress in the competition, you get the chance to come up against some big sides, which is what we are looking to do. Last year, we got Brentford at home and that was a really good test.
“If you build momentum in the cups, it does definitely take it into the league and build momentum into the season.”