Manager says players need to build on performance against Oxford United as they head into “big eight days” in League One season.
- Darrell Clarke | “If we can perform to our levels, we can give anybody a game in this league”
- Port Vale manager looks ahead to his side’s League One clash at Lincoln City on Saturday
- Clarke: “We still need a few points to make sure of the objective from the start of the season, which was to consolidate in this division.”
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke says he wants his side to build on their performance against Oxford United and find a consistent level of positive performance in their final five matches of the League One season.
Clarke’s side improved to earn a point against Oxford United on Easter Monday after what the manager described as three poor performances from four games at the end of March and start of April.
“We need to build on the performance and result,” Clarke said of his side’s trip to Lincoln City on Saturday. “It is a big eight days for us really with three matches in the next eight days as the season comes to a close.
“We still need a few points to make sure of the objective from the start of the season, which was to consolidate in this division.
“It is a tough week on paper but hopefully we can do the business – it is a week we look forward to. We want to get back to our performance levels on a more consistent basis that we have been of late.”
The Valiants face two of their furthest away opponents of the season with the trip to Lincoln followed by a journey to Ipswich, where Clarke’s side will face the League One promotion chasers at Portman Road.
Clarke, though, says his players will prepare and recover right for a challenging week to ensure performance levels are high.
“We prepare right and we are thankful to the club that they allow us to do that, so we will travel to Lincoln today and will go across to Ipswich on Monday,” Clarke explained.
“There are no excuses in the work and preparation that we do; I don’t like giving players excuses to not be able to perform and we do things right as a football club, which is very important. “You have to do that if you want to compete at this level, you have to make sure that the preparation, the way you refuel your players - using the cryochamber – is right, to make sure that we give the players every opportunity to be able to perform at the levels we expect them to perform at.”
Commenting on Saturday’s hosts, Clarke added that the Imps have carried good momentum from their promotion from Non-League and are now established as a League One side.
“I think Lincoln have had really good momentum as a football club since being in Non-League for quite a few years,” Clarke added. “It is a very well-run football club and they do it the right way; they have certainly established themselves as a League One team.
“They are very good on transitions of the ball but they can play, they have players than can hurt you one-v-one and had a great result against Plymouth at the weekend, with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 win so – as with any game in League One – they pose you different challenges.
“I also know that if we can perform to the levels that I know we are capable of, then we will give anybody a good game.”