Neil Aspin is expecting a difficult test as Vale make the trip to Sincil Bank to face Lincoln City in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow afternoon.
The Vale boss came up against the Imps last season when he was in charge at Gateshead and he is full of respect for the job that Danny and Nicky Cowley are doing.
Having won promotion from the National League last season and securing a return to the football league, they have proved to be a stern outfit and Aspin is relishing the fixture.
He said: “Nobody is going to have a better season than the one Lincoln had last season, to do what they did in the league and to have the cup run as well - it was absolutely fantastic.
“Full credit to them, they’re a difficult team to play against, very organised and they play in a way where everybody knows their jobs.
“That will be what we’re up against on Saturday and they’re also getting big crowds there now, so there will be a good atmosphere.
“It will be a test and we’ll certainly have to defend set pieces better than we did in the game on Tuesday, and we’ll have to match them physically too.”
Lincoln’s FA Cup run saw them reach the Quarter-Finals and victories over Brighton and Burnley showed they are able to compete with clubs in a higher division.
Over the summer, they have had a large turnover of players but Aspin insists that it hasn’t affected the way in which they want to play football.
“They haven’t wanted to change their philosophy too much, but there is a big difference in the personnel from what was their regular eleven last season,” he said.
“They’ve obviously improved the quality and they’ll be looking to kick on and get promotion again.
“It’s a big game on Saturday and it will be a real test for us.
“I’m looking for a performance, but I’ve never predicted any result because you never know how things will work out.
“I want the players to be positive, to work as hard as they can, but there are aspects of the game that they need to do better in.
“Since I have been in charge, I’ve always felt that the effort and commitment has been there. I’ve been happy with that, but we know that certain things must be done better.”