Port Vale boss Micky Adams is backing his team to be inspired by a sell-out Vale Park in tomorrow’s big npower League Two clash with the Cobblers.
Fewer than 2,000 tickets are now available for home supporters, and a 15,000-plus crowd is expected with Vale needing just a point to clinch automatic promotion.
A large following is also expected to make the trip from Northampton as the Cobblers try to keep their own top three dream alive, and it is sure to be a crackling atmosphere.
Vale’s average home attendance this season is 5,420, and although close on 11,000 turned out for their most recent home game - the 7-1 win over Burton Albion - such a crowd could still prove a bit of a culture shock to the Vale players.
They could easily freeze under the expectation, but Adams expects exactly the opposite from his squad.
”I don’t think there is any doubt about the enormity of the game and everything that is a stake with it,” Adams told the Port Vale website, www.port-vale.co.uk
“We are all in the game for a level of success and can’t always get it, but we have got the chance to create a little bit of history.
“I certainly don’t detect any nervousness or apprehension from the boys, they have gone on and done the work this week and we have kept training as normal as we possibly can.
“But they have arrived at the ground for training and seen the queues for the tickets, they read the papers and listen to the radio I suppose and they know what is at stake.
“In many ways it is easy for me.
“All I have got to do is make sure that they are aware of Northampton’s strengths and weaknesses, as per normal, and light the touch paper at ten to three on Saturday and leave the rest to them.
“I am sure they will be inspired by the crowd that they see on Saturday.
“If they thought the atmosphere was great against Burton Albion, I think this will surpass it.
“As a professional footballer these are the days that you aspire to and they have got a fantastic opportunity to create a bit of history.”
One thing Adams is wary of ahead of the clash at Vale Park is the threat the Cobblers possess, and the chance that the occasion and atmosphere could inspire the visitors.
And Adams Town boss Aidy Boothroyd won’t need to make any sort of team-talk, as the chance to rain on Vale’s promotion parade will be inspiration enough.
“We are a million miles from securing promotion at the moment and I say that because I am respectful of the threat that Northampton possess,” said Adams.
“We don’t treat anybody lightly.
“I also think it is an easy one for Aidy Boothroyd. If we were in their shoes we would say ‘they are expecting a party, let’s go and spoil it’.
“With the greatest respect to Northampton, we know what we have got to do and I hope that inspires us to great things on Saturday.
“We are determined to get the job done. If we don’t do it on Saturday, the beauty of the points total and the goal difference we have got is, if we don’t do it Saturday we have got a second bite at it next week at Wycombe.
“I am sure there will be lots of permutations happening as the minutes tick by on Saturday.
“A lot of the clubs around us have got difficult games so there will be ups and downs.
“I am sure everybody will be keeping me aware of what other teams are doing, but if we win the game, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing.”