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Bakes: "Great Pride At Stake"

21 February 2014

Neil Baker says he has been impressed with Port Vale's rise into League Two.

Assistant manager Neil Baker says that he has always tried to enjoy derby matches during his long association with Crewe Alexandra. The vastly experienced Baker appreciates that although the build-up to any derby encounter is a little different due to the local exposure, it is still an occasion for ‘cool heads’ and ‘clever decision making’.

Ahead of the trip to Vale Park, Bakes told “It is a big game and it is a big game for both clubs because we both have different agendas to win the game.

“We need the points to get us out of trouble and Port Vale will believe they can still get into the play-offs. There is everything to play for and we know what it means to everyone associated with the two clubs.

“There is a lot of pride at stake and it is massive for the players, the supporters and everyone in the area. It is important you rise to the occasion and try and enjoy it. That is how I have always approached a derby game. You have to enjoy these occasions.

“There is a lot that comes with a derby game but the important thing is that you keep a cool head and make good decisions in that type of atmosphere.

“Make no mistake about it they are a good side. They have done terrific in their first season back in League One and it will be a tough game. They have good players and know their jobs.

Bakes added: “We have definitely improved since we last played Port Vale but so have they. If we have improved enough to get a result on Saturday we will have to see.”

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