Port Vale: Micky Adams call for players to retain their focus
MICKY Adams is warning his players to ignore the long road ahead – a bit like he did this week.
The Port Vale manager fell off his bike and broke his wrist on Wednesday, but he is determined his players will remain on track.
Although he can take comfort from the fact they remain out in front, he's ordering his squad to avoid any accidents as the promotion battle intensifies.
The table-topping Valiants have 15 League Two matches remaining, starting with tomorrow's home encounter with Morecambe (3pm).
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And they are handily placed to make the step up, with a 10-point advantage over the play-off pack.
"I want the players to ignore the gap we've created and just focus on the next game," said Adams.
"I've told them to not even think about booking their holidays because the situation is a long way from being over.
"The chasing teams are maybe five wins away from us now, and with 15 games to go that's a lot of points to catch up.
"It will take a good side to do that, but we want as many points as we can to make it difficult for teams to catch us."
Adams appeared for yesterday's press conference with his wrist bandaged up after his cycling accident.
"I can't run any more because I have a bad hip, so I thought I'd take up bike riding," he said.
"But I've fallen off twice in two weeks now. I'm dangerous!"
While his personal target might be to stay on two wheels, Adams is refusing to be lulled into the trap of setting specific goals for his squad.
"I don't set targets for the players," he said.
"I speak to other managers who ask how many wins or points we might need and I say I haven't a clue. We'll just keep going until we're over the line.
"We have some big games coming up and we'll trust in our ability to get results at this level and finish the job off."
Adams was unhappy with how his team played during last week's goalless draw at Barnet and is looking for an improvement against a Morecambe side who boosted their mid-table position with a midweek home win against Aldershot.
But he admitted he would be more concerned about the result than the performance.
"It's all about the result at this stage," he said.
"We got a lucky point last week when we didn't play particularly well, and we're looking to do better against Morecambe.
"But if we have to scrape wins from now on, then I'll take that. It doesn't make any difference how you get there."
Adams is determined to retain his attacking philosophy, so seems likely to stick with the same team for the fifth game in a row.
But he says the Barnet clash had given him plenty to think about.
"We weren't quite at it last week when Barnet's shape caused us a few problems. We'll have a look at that," he explained.
"But we're at home, and the emphasis is always on the home team to go and attack so that's what we'll do.
"We're an attacking side anyway and it's something of a bonus when we keep clean sheets, but to have kept three in a row is great."
Forward Louis Dodds has returned to the squad after a calf strain, but Joe Davis and Ryan Lloyd have joined John McCombe on the sidelines.
Defender Davis tweaked knee ligaments during Tuesday's reserves clash at Burton, while winger Lloyd picked up an ankle problem in the same match.
McCombe, who has been out for five weeks with a knee injury, returned to training on Thursday, but remains short of match fitness.