Port Vale defender Adam Yates believes that their current squad are good enough to win promotion this season.
Yates insists that Micky Adams' men have the strength to maintain a push for the League Two top three in spite of their faltering run of form.
"There's no reason why not," Yates told BBC Radio Stoke. "We've got the core of last year's team and added a few more.
"We get stronger every year and we need to be pushing on now," added Yates, who joined Vale in 2009.
After picking up eight points from their first four league games, Vale have now suffered successive defeats to Southend and AFC Wimbledon to slip to 12th in the table, along with an early exit from the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on penalties at the hands of Tranmere.
But Yates blamed Saturday's defeat at Wimbledon on injuries to two key players, midfielder Doug Loft and winger Sean Rigg.
They had scored eight between them, more than half Vale's goals over the first six games of the season, and have now missed the last two matches.
"Lofty always looks full of energy as soon as he gets the ball," said Yates. "And he's obviously scored a lot of goals so we clearly miss him. "And Riggy has been the same. He's been on fire.
"So we're always going to miss those two players because they're the ones who've scored the majority of the goals so far."