Port Vale: Unity key to revival of Vale's fortunes says Duffy
RICHARD Duffy says his Port Vale team-mates must show a united front to halt the slump in form which is now threatening their promotion hopes.
The Valiants head to improving Bristol Rovers tonight (7.45pm) desperate to end a run of three defeats in four games.
And the defender is calling for a timely show of solidarity within the ranks to help put their season back on track.
"We're having a bad run at the wrong time of the season," he said, "so we all need to stick together.
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"When things aren't going well, it's easy to turn against people.
"But when you're having a bad spell like this, you have to take it on the chin and go again. That's what we'll do."
Right-back Duffy is baffled by a fall from grace which has seen second-placed Vale plunge to third-from-bottom of the League Two form table.
He feels confidence, or the lack of it, has played a part, but insists things can change in an instant.
"Everyone loses confidence now and again," he added.
"When you lose games, you lose confidence in yourself and the team, and that's showing at the moment.
"We must try to get back to what we were doing in the first part of the season. That's the challenge for us now.
"We're still second and still in the driving seat, but we've got to start winning games."
The 27-year-old admits it's time for the players to stand up and be counted at the Memorial Ground. "We've got to have some big players out there tonight who will stand up to it, get on the ball and play," he said.
"Hopefully we'll get a bit of luck as well and come away with a win.
"We've worked on a few things in training and hopefully we'll put it right at Bristol.
"They're playing well and they're strong at home, so it will be a tough game.
"But we'll try to stamp our authority early and go from there.
"It's about keeping your nerve and giving everything you've got.
"If we do that and it turns out to be not good enough, then we'll have to hold our hands up."
But Duffy, who has 37 appearances under his belt since joining the Valiants from Exeter in the summer, knows the back four must cut out their mistakes.
"We conceded twice on Saturday and both goals were down to individual errors," he said.
"In fact, the last six goals we've let in are probably all down to mistakes.
"It's not as if teams are cutting through us, and I don't think it's been a case of people being in the wrong positions or whatever.
"Defensively we haven't been far off where we want to be and if we can cut out the individual errors, we'll be okay."