Port Vale: Don't write us off, says Micky Adams
MICKY Adams says Port Vale will prove their doubters wrong and regain their composure in the promotion race.
A run of four defeats in six matches has left the second-placed Valiants just three points clear of the League Two play-off pack.
But ahead of tonight's trip to Bristol Rovers (7.45pm), boss Adams, pictured, insists his players will rise to the challenge of rediscovering their form.
"The doubters and cynics can write us off at their peril," he warned. "Confidence is at a premium and I can't deny that.
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"Key players who were performing so well at the start of the season aren't at the moment.
"But we have people in that dressing room who will get over whatever doubt is going through their mind and come good in the end.
"Results can change quickly and at this level and players' performances can too.
"We have to keep going and believing. I've got full confidence in them to come out the other side."
Adams says he is prepared to take criticism from supporters after their dip in form.
But he maintains that the players and coaching staff are also feeling the same frustrations as those in the stands.
"We're getting it from all angles at the moment," he said. "But if the fans aren't happy, then they can be certain myself and the players aren't either.
"They can give me criticism because I'm big enough, bold enough and brassy enough.
"I'll lead the players through this. This is not a time for ranting and raving, or histrionics on the touchline."
Adams is now urging his players to forget their recent run of results and focus on a positive end to the campaign.
"We have a nine-game season and we've got to finish on top of that league if we can," he said.
"If we do that, we'll achieve all our aims.
"The Southend defeat has gone. We've analysed it, criticised it and we move on.
"It has got to the point now where we have to kick back into action and I think we'll get a response.
"We're the only ones who can put things right and I've full confidence in the dressing room to do that.
"If there's a crisis of confidence in the camp, then to have it when we're second in the table is the time to have it."
Left-back Dan Jones misses tonight's trip because of the knee injury that kept him out on Saturday, but could be in contention for Saturday's visit to York City.
Midfielder Ryan Burge is added to the squad.
"I've no negative thoughts about trying to nick a point at Bristol to steady the ship," added Adams.
"We'll be bold and try to win the game like we always do.
"We know it's a difficult game, but we've got to turn things around for ourselves."
Bristol Rovers v Port Vale preview: Page 46