The manager's notes from today's matchday magazine
Having started to put a run of results together we were brought back to earth on Monday at Port Vale where we were disappointed to see our run end.
As ever when you lose a game of football there are lessons to learn, and over the 90 minutes the better team definitely won the match. But we have watched the DVD a few times since and things could have been different. We matched a good side for the first 30 minutes and even after we fell behind we had strong penalty appeals before half-time.
If one of those goes our way then who knows? But instead we conceded a sloppy goal and gave the advantage to a side high on confidence. One of the big differences was raised on TV. Port Vale have had nine players who have played just about every game while Jake Wright, our only ever-present, misses today's game through suspension. Once we can field a settled side I believe that we can start getting that vital component that you need for success, which is consistency.
We were starting to get that in the games beforehand. Drawing with the side I consider to be the best in this division, Gillingham, then beating Cheltenham on the following Tuesday meant we were gathering a bit of momentum, and now it is up to us to get that going again. We need to hang in there, stay strong and start to close the gap on the pack towards the top of the table.
It has been a tough week for the lads but they have reacted well in training and shown that they are ready to step straight back in and go again. It won't be an easy game. Since we had no game ourselves I made the trip down to Torquay last Saturday to watch today's opposition in action. They look a good side, but we are a good side ourselves and want to show our true colours today, which should make for a very entertaining game. We took a step back on Monday. We will be on the front foot from the start this afternoon.
On a different front I am pleased that we are supporting the Kick it Out campaign once again today. This campaign has done so much good for the game in this country and continues to educate and inform people. Anyone who saw the disgraceful scenes at England's Under-21 game in midweek will know that racism can still raise its ugly head in football, and we are very proud to be supporting Kick it Out and all that they stand for.
Finally, just a thank you for your continuing support. Our last two home games, against Wimbledon and Gillingham have been great examples of everyone sticking together and staying positive. It gets results and if everyone in the stands and on the pitch works together again today there is no reason we can't go home smiling and three points better off.