Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke hailed unsung hero Nathan Smith after the 1-0 win over Scunthorpe United.
Smith has played a central role in the back three after Leon Legge was injured and he has more than played his part in the side’s five clean sheets this season.
They are the characters you need in your team to come here to pick up the three points…
Clarke says Smith was prepared to put his body on the line on Saturday telling the media: “When we have had to defend, we did. That’s none more so than Nathan Smith who has probably put in eight or ten stitches, he heads the ball and heads the player in injury time.
“I just love players like him. He’ll get his stitches in and no doubt he’ll want to train on Monday. That’s the characters we want and they are the characters you need in your team to come here to pick up the three points.”
Since breaking into the first-team in 2016, Nathan Smith has made 40 or more appearances in all of his first five seasons. If he stays fit, it’s likely he will do the same this campaign. Bob Connelly is at number twenty in the club’s all-time appearances charts with 341. Smith, with 259 appearances at the age of just 25 certainly has the chance to move into the top twenty if he continues with his consistent form.