Walsall vs Port Vale preview: Hard work paying off at the back, says Dan Scarr
Saddlers defender Dan Scarr believes the team’s hard work at the back will stand them in good stead as they prepare to welcome Port Vale to the Banks’s tomorrow.
The Valiants make the short trip to the Black Country on the back of an impressive 3-0 win over Colchester.
John Askey’s side are unbeaten in their last five games, winning four of them, and face a Walsall side who haven’t lost in three matches.
Despite shipping two goals in the 3-2 win over Northampton Town last week, Scarr insists the partnerships in defence have contributed to the team’s good form.
“We work hard defensively, we’ve got a good clean sheet record, all the lads that have come in and played have done well,” he said.
“But it’s not just about us as a back four, it’s the lads in front of us as well.
“They put in a real shift and sometimes minimise the work that we have to do so we have to give the lads in front of us credit as well.
“I think I’ve been playing quite well.
“It helps having a good team around you and I think everyone covers each other, everyone works for each other well so if you do make a mistake, which you’re going to in football, at least we’re covered by the next person.
“It’s not mistake, mistake, mistake. It gets stopped at the source and I think it’s why we’re doing so well lately.
“I think we’ve been training hard and working hard together.
“Whichever partnership steps out on the pitch, everyone knows they’re going to be covered or you know what you’re going to get from the players around you and that gives you the confidence to enjoy your own game.”
Vale have risen to sixth in League Two with their upturn in results, with the Saddlers sitting 11 points behind them in 13th.
But Clarke insists that the gap in quality is small throughout the division.
“From what I’ve seen of the top seven teams so far, there’s not a lot in it,” he added.
“I think the top seven teams are more consistent and once you get that consistency it’s an open league and I don’t think there’s massive competition in it.
“Once things pick up and you’re in good form, you just need to stay mentally strong.
“Keep doing what you’ve been doing in training to create that form that you’ve been playing in. Things become second nature when you’re in that focused space and I think the lads all seem very focused at the moment.”
Meanwhile, right-back Shay Facey says the strong relationships across the defence and midfield will be vital in the closing stages of the season.
“We work as a unit both together with the two lads who sit in front of the back four,” he said.
“We’ve got our understanding of our own individual responsibilities and as a unit so I think we’re working really well together.
“Every game presents a different challenge at hand.
“The aim is to win every single game that you play and that’s what we go out to do.
“Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t but as long as the desire is there.
“The principles that the manager wants to play is to go out and express ourselves and fight every inch on the pitch, if that’s there then the rest we can ask for as an extra.”