Port Vale: Micky Adams sets his Port Vale players a promotion target
MICKY Adams has set his players a tempting target on the next step towards promotion.
The relieved Port Vale boss saw his team put a dismal run, and a difficult week, behind them by clinching a crucial victory at York City.
Now he's demanding they kick off the final phase of the season by breaking through a psychological barrier at home to Aldershot on Saturday.
"We realise the importance of these next seven games and it starts this week," said Adams.
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"The Aldershot game is massive now, probably one of the biggest of our whole season.
"It's a cup final for us and we have to approach it in that manner.
"The quicker we get to 70 points the better.
"It will be a big psychological boost for us to do so and, if we can do it on Saturday, that would be great."
Victory at York, their 11th on the road, saw the Valiants jump back up to second in the table and extend the gap to the play-off places to three points.
And Adams is hoping their first win in six games, secured by goals from Jennison Myrie-Williams and Lee Hughes either side of the break, will set them up for that seven-game climax.
"It was a massive three points," he said.
"It was a result which can only benefit us all, and I'm hoping it will kick-start us again.
"I'm pleased for the people that matter, the supporters, and I'm pleased for my players because they've had a tough time of it lately.
"Every one of the players put a great shift in and there was a real resolve and determination about the squad. Every credit to them."
More than 1,000 travelling fans were joined by chairman Paul Wildes and chief executive Norman Smurthwaite at the end of the game.
The pair went over to the away end to join in the celebrations, and Adams, right, was quick to praise the visiting supporters.
"The fans were magnificent," he said. "We had fantastic support here and it was great to see."
Back-to-back home games, against the struggling Shots and then promotion rivals Cheltenham, offer the ideal opportunity to press home their advantage.
But Vale have lost three of their last four at headquarters and Adams knows that record must improve.
"People will expect us to win at home, but it's never as easy as that," he said.
"With our results at home, some people are not as confident as they should be.
"But we're feeling a lot better about ourselves now, so let's bring the games on."
Adams said their spell of poor form, combined with the controversy surrounding Ryan Burge, had only strengthened their resolve.
The midfielder was suspended for two weeks on Friday after refusing to apologise for his midweek no-show at Bristol Rovers, and a subsequent outburst on Twitter.
"We would rather not have the situation we have found ourselves in over the last few days and weeks," he admitted.
"But it happens and it has only brought us closer together.
"Every decision I make is not made for Micky Adams, it's made for the benefit of the football club to take us forward.
"It's about the whole squad. I've got 24 professionals and I can't allow one person to disrupt it. So any decision that I've made has been for the benefit of everyone else."
CHRIS Birchall will miss Saturday's clash against Aldershot.
The midfielder has been given the go-ahead to join up with the Trinidad and Tobago squad for international friendlies against Belize, on Friday, and Peru the following Tuesday.