Port Vale: Micky Adams looks to build on Rotherham win
MICKY Adams has set his sights on a Christmas double to keep Port Vale in the thick of the promotion race.
The Valiants boss hailed the character and application of his team after they picked up an excellent 2-1 victory at in-form League Two high-fliers Rotherham yesterday.
Second-half goals from Louis Dodds and Tom Pope – his 22nd of the season – proved enough for Vale, despite Kieran Agard's late consolation.
And Adams has called for a repeat performance from his players when they head to London on Saturday to take on Dagenham and Redbridge.
"People will be expecting an easy three points down there now, but we will have to maintain our form and do the right things at the right times once again," he said.
"The lads had the bit between their teeth and we'll have to maintain that attitude down at Dagenham.
"It would be great to get back-to-back wins, but we can't expect to simply turn up and produce it.
"If we're not right in terms of what we're doing and make sure we're mentally spot on, we'll get nothing."
Vale's win took on greater significance after leaders Gillingham suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by struggling Barnet.
Adams' second-placed side are now two points adrift of their Kent rivals, and the Valiants manager says their meticulous preparation was the catalyst for their success in South Yorkshire.
"It was a big result for us," said Adams.
"We expected a battle and we certainly got that.
"We were in for training on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and that professional approach has paid off.
"We needed big performances and we got them.
"The game was a marvellous advert for the division and I still think if we're near Rotherham at the end of the season, then we'll have done well."
Adams, though, was keen to ensure players and fans alike maintain cool heads despite ending a four-match winless run at their big-spending rivals.
"It's only three points and we won't be getting carried away," he said.
"There will be peaks and troughs throughout a season.
"Players will come in and out of form and teams will lose games they're expected to win, and that's part of being a professional unit.
"But if we prepare correctly for each game and show the effort and enthusiasm that we showed at Rotherham, then that will carry us a long way."
Vale had to defend stoutly as United pressed forward.
However, with the defence superbly marshalled by John McCombe, Adams' men held firm in the closing stages.
"We put ourselves under pressure in the first half with some silly bookings, but we did well to keep our discipline in the second under a lot of pressure," he added.
"They got at us and pushed us deeper and deeper, but we've come out the other side."
Adams reserved praise for more than 1,300 visiting fans at The New York Stadium.
"We were backed by some magnificent fans who made a heck of a lot of noise," he said.
"They've given up their Boxing Day telly to come and watch us and we do appreciate it."