Chris Wilder's notes in the Port Vale programme
After a good result on Tuesday night we return to home action today as we welcome Micky Adams and his Port Vale side. I know Micky well and he has done a first-class job at Vale Park under very tough circumstances last season. He has built a team that play good football and have been very consistent. They are a good side with good players and we expect another very hard game this afternoon.
Having said that, we knew it was going to be a challenge at Priestfield on Tuesday but we applied ourselves extremely well and were more than a match for the side at the top of the table. Even in the build-up to the game we lost Andy Whing to illness and then had to endure a nightmare journey, but to win the match after everything we had gone through speaks volumes about the character of the players and the togetherness of everyone in the squad.
I thought that Deane Smalley, Tony Capaldi and Simon Heslop did a fantastic job as they came into the side, but it was also good to see James Constable and Tom Craddock encouraging the team and playing their part from the bench. They understand that it takes an entire squad to have a successful season and I think the players have stayed very close all season long.
At times it has been hard going and I don't want to go on about the things that are beyond our control. On a good surface at Gillingham we played some very good football and were full value for the win. I would like to thank Martin Allen for some very kind words in the match programme that night. Like Micky Adams he is a real football man who understands the game and to say such magnanimous things about our club was very flattering. I think people in the industry appreciate what we are trying to build here and the work we are doing.
Last Saturday we just couldn't find a way to take all three points off of York City but it wasn't for the want of trying. They made it hard, as we knew they would because every point they can gather takes them one step closer to safety. York are fighting to stay in the League after a number of years in the Conference, but felt that we more than matched them for effort. Defensively we were very solid and we should have won the game but to put this into perspective York went to Rotherham on Tuesday and were pegged back only in the dying stages. This doesn’t mean that we were happy with just one point or the general play because we weren’t, but you cannot win every match and we had a good talk after the final whistle about doing the right things to win games. That paid off on Tuesday and will hopefully pay off again this afternoon.
Finally, as ever thank you for your support. If today's game is anything like the last two we have had with Vale here then it should be a cracker. Two years ago we had Tom Craddock's 96th-minute winner, and last year we had Peter Leven's goal from halfway. Port Vale will remember those games, just as we remember the match at their place earlier this season where we were well off the pace. Today is a chance to put things right and give our home fans something to cheer and support. At times our home form has been below par, but we will do everything within our powers to put that right and make it two good wins in a row today.