Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke wants his team playing with the same intensity over their final six matches even though they have virtually assured their Football League status with a five-game winning run.
The Vale entertain Morecambe on Saturday looking to build on Monday’s 2-0 win at Harrogate Town, secured with second-half goals from Dave Worrall and Kurtis Guthrie.
That’s lifted Vale to 15th , on 50 points, a remarkable turnaround for a team that looked in relegation trouble a month ago.
Clarke has given his players a couple of days off but expects them to return hungry to continue their winning run.
He said: “My remit when I came in was to change the environment to stay in League Two. So, to get 50 points now with six games to go, we can enjoy the next six, but we want our run to continue.
“There will be no let up from myself or the players, we will be preparing well.
“Someone said to me it is the first time in 11 years the club has won five league games. So, the players and staff have to enjoy that. But we also know we are back at it again, ready to try to get another win at home to Morecambe on Saturday.
“When you come into a building that is lacking confidence and lacking a little bit of direction and there is a little bit of uneasiness about the place, with a lot of professionals, it is never easy.
“But the lads have been working hard for me. The subs are making an impact, Kurtis came on and made that impact. Everyone is training hard. I have been really impressed with the lads that haven’t really had the opportunities yet.
“The intensity in training has stepped up and that is what we want as a football club.”
Guthrie’s goal was the striker’s first since joining the club in January.
Clark added: “He will be really pleased. Supporters obviously want to see the strikers scoring, so does the manager. But for me it is the work ethic of the team.
“It is as an XI and the lads coming on, making sure the work ethic and the desire to win football games is in there. At the minute it is there in abundance.”
That continues a change of fortune for the 32 year old who has been left out on Vale’s 22-man senior squad in January and was only restored because of injuries elsewhere.
Clarke, who took charge on February 15, said: “When I walked in the door there was a clean slate. I try not to get bogged down listening to other people’s opinions on certain players because I know things can change and managers can change certain players.
“Theo has had a decent career. He has a decent goalscoring record and he is working hard for the football cub, as are all my players.”