Port Vale at Torquay: 'Players must refocus after Morecambe shock'
LEE Hughes is looking at today’s game at Torquay as an acid test of Port Vale's promotion credentials.
The veteran striker says it’s crucial for Vale to produce a positive reaction to last week’s shock home defeat by mid-table Morecambe.
And he says the ability to recover quickly from the occasional setback is a true sign of a successful side.
“We had a bad day at the office last week, but you can’t win every game you play,” he said.
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“We knew it was going to be a tough game because everyone who comes to Vale Park is going to be desperate to beat us.
“But it’s about how we react to that which will tell us a lot about ourselves and I’m sure we have enough quality in the squad to do that.
“We’ve had to refocus, we’ve had a good week of training and we’ll go down to Torquay in good heart.
“We always seem to do well away from home, and there’s no reason why we can’t down there and come back with three points.”
Like the rest of the players and staff at the club, Hughes is determined to ignore the gap Vale have established on the teams chasing them for automatic promotion.
Instead, you’ve guessed it, he’s planning to take each game as it comes.
“We know there is a gap there, but you can’t afford to think about that,” he said.
“We have to focus on each game individually and not get carried away by the situation. We’ll simply try to win as many games as we can and get as many points as we can to get us over the line.”
Hughes, aged 36, says Vale are winning rewards for the professional approach.
The squad stayed overnight at a hotel near Torquay in preparation for today’s game at Plainmoor.
And he says the season-long policy of travelling to distant away games the night before can only help Vale’s quest for promotion.
“It’s important to prepare right for games and it’s good that we’re doing it properly,” he said.
“The owners have been paying for us to stay overnight and it does make a big difference.
“There aren’t many teams in League Two that can do that.
“We usually go down on a Friday night, rest in the hotel, get some good food and a good night’s sleep and prepare for the game.
“I’ve been doing that throughout my career and it can only help.
“Travelling on the day of the game can be a nightmare as your back and legs can get stiff for sitting on a coach for hours.
“And this way, if we don’t win, we can’t blame it on anything else.”