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Andy Crosby | “We want to be positive and energise the crowd”

21 April 2023

Interim manager speaks to the media ahead of Saturday’s League One clash with Bristol Rovers at Vale Park.

  • Andy Crosby | “We want to be positive and energise the crowd”
  • Port Vale’s interim manager Andy Crosby previews League One match against Bristol Rovers at Vale Park on Saturday
  • Crosby: “In terms of the effort, the commitment and the unity of the group, the togetherness and discipline of the group - the desire to run, chase, block and run headers - I thought it was really good and it gives us something to build on.”

Andy Crosby says the Valiants will look to be positive in their approach when Bristol Rovers visit Vale Park in League One on Saturday.

Crosby’s side will be looking to build on a spirited performance against promotion-chasing Ipswich Town on Tuesday, though the interim manager says the gameplan will clearly be different.

“Will our game plan be different to Tuesday night? Absolutely, of course it will,” Crosby explained. “We have to approach this game in a different manner; we want to be positive, we want to be on the front foot, to energise the crowd, to energise our team and that’s what we will be looking to do.

Asked about the role the home supporters can play, he continued:

“In terms of the crowd, they can absolutely play a massive part. I think that they can bring energy to the team. It is important that we start on the front foot, that we’re aggressive and that they see that but 100% they need to get behind the team.

“The team are going to go out tomorrow and I can guarantee that they will give absolutely everything for 90 minutes, 95 minutes whatever it is. Whichever individual is representing our football club tomorrow, we’ll give it everything.”

The Valiants frustrated the Tractor Boys on Tuesday night, conceding just two shots on target and going close to joining Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth Argyle as the only sides to take any points from Portman Road in 2023.

“The performance on the pitch was how we expected it to go,” Crosby continued. “We had to go there and make it as difficult as we could for them.

“They’re an exceptionally good team, in a really good state, with their minds and confidence. I think that the game plan worked to a certain extent, we frustrated them without the ball. For them to only have two shots on target, we justified what we tried to do. There were parts of the game which we could have been hell of a lot better at, which would have given us more possession and a little bit more control of the game. In terms of the effort, the commitment and the unity of the group, the togetherness of the group, the discipline of the group, the desire to run, chase, block and win headers, I thought it was really good and it gives us something to build on.”

The interim manager was also asked about whether confidence was a factor for his side.

“What is confidence?” he asked. “It’s a feeling of thinking that you can go out and do the task and that you’re prepared well. We have got belief in what the plan is, so go out there and execute it. The biggest thing for confidence is that you’re winning games of football, your own individual performances are high but, unfortunately, we’re not in that state for now. I have to give the players that belief in themselves. We have got good players at this football club and we have shown through large parts of this season that we are a good team. Now maybe that hasn’t happened of late but we can get back to that and Tuesday was a good starting point.”

Crosby also gave an injury update on midfielders Ben Garrity and Tom Pett, with the latter missing Tuesday night’s clash in Suffolk having featured in the Vale’s previous 11 League One matches.

“Ben Garrity went to see a specialist yesterday and got the thumbs up to increase his rehab and got to the next stage of that, which is really pleasing,” Crosby explained. “Tom Pett missed the game on Tuesday, having got a kick on the ankle at Lincoln. We didn’t think it would impact Tuesday but it did. We found that out on Tuesday morning, which obviously made us do something different.

“Ben is trying his very best to get back, you know what Ben is like. His effort and commitment to this football club is unquestionable and if he can be back before the end of the season, then 100% he will be.”

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