Port Vale: Captain Ben Purkiss says players are fully aware of effects of relegation

Port Vale's failure to beat bottom club Coventry City in march was a big blow for the Valiants
Port Vale's failure to beat bottom club Coventry City in March was a big blow for the Valiants

Port Vale captain Ben Purkiss says that the players fully understand the impact that relegation could have on the whole club - if they were to go down.

With just three League One games left to play, four straight defeats have plunged Vale into the bottom four.

Bury's point on Tuesday night at second-placed Bolton, who Vale host on Saturday, leaves Michael Brown's side now two points adrift of safety.

"Everyone understands the situation we're in," Purkiss told BBC Stoke.

"Everyone knows the the effect on people as individuals and the effect on the football club as a whole if we were to fail."

Vale are in their fourth season back in League One, after promotion under Micky Adams in 2013.

Tough run-in for Vale

Vale have shown decent from this season at Vale Park, where they have won 10 and lost just six of their 22 home games.

But Saturday's final home game of the season is followed by two away matches - a concern for a side who have the second-worst record on their travels in the division this season, having picked up just nine points out of a possible 63.

They finish the season at another side chasing automatic promotion, Fleetwood and, before then, they face a Midlands derby, at mid-table Walsall on Tuesday.

Vale were in the play-off places, in sixth, when they beat Fleetwood 2-1 on 12 November, having won seven and drawn four of summer appointment Bruno Ribeiro's first 17 games in charge.

But that proved to be his last victory and, since his departure on Boxing Day and the appointment of Brown as caretaker manager, Vale have won four times in 22 matches.

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