Evatt Ready For Vale Test

Evatt applause Peterborough

Ian Evatt is backing his men to stand up to the test as they look to kick off a productive run into the next international break.

Wanderers head to Port Vale today (Saturday) seeking a fourth win in six games in all competitions to move back into the top six.

Only one of those victories has come in League One but, equally, the Whites have lost only once in that run and gave themselves the mid-week confidence-booster of beating Manchester United’s U21s 8-1 to ensure progress in the EFL Trophy.

“These spells happen and that has coincided with a lot of injurie,” said Evatt, who will be without six senior players through injury and suspension at Vale Park.

“But I don't believe there's another squad in League One that could deal with the magnitude of injuries that we've dealt with over this period.

“We've got a week to go before that cavalry starts to return and we have to get three results in this week. That starts on Saturday and that's where our focus lies.

“Port Vale is one of those places where you know exactly what you are going into. It's intense, it's intimidating, it's aggressive.

“People want to beat us because people believe we're a good team. We have to stand up to that, embrace that and go and perform at our best level.”
Ian Evatt

“They (the supporters) always back their team incredibly well and we need to go and show that we can deal with that and deal with adversity if it comes and perform to our highest level.

“And if we can do that, like we saw on Tuesday and other games this season, we are a tough team to stop.”

Vale - beaten just once since the opening day of the league season - currently sit fourth in the League One table but Wanderers will draw level on points with the Potteries’ outfit with a second away win of the season.

Evatt’s side then faces back-to-back home games against Stevenage and Carlisle United before a blank weekend due to international call-ups.

“In the next four games we've got three home games against three teams that have just been promoted to League One,” added the Wanderers’ boss.

“But for us now, it's a difficult away game at Port Vale who are going very well in the league and have started very well. They will be full of confidence and as we know we have a huge target on our backs.

“People want to beat us because people believe we're a good team. We have to stand up to that, embrace that and go and perform at our best level.”

Both sides will wear black armbands this afternoon and there will be a minute’s applause before kick-off in recognition of former Vale midfielder Harry Poole. Poole, who has passed away at the age of 88, played 499 games for the Valiants and is the third highest appearance-maker in the club’s history.

Supporters are asked to take their seats early to be able to show their appreciation.

Watch the manager's full pre-match interview on Wanderers TV HERE

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