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Hird: "It's massive for our season"

5 April 2016

Sam Hird helped keep Port Vale to just a one goal lead at half time on Saturday, then scored himself after the break as the Spireites produced a stirring comeback to gain an essential win.

Trailing to AJ Leitch-Smith's goal, the home team faced home boos as they returned to the dressing room for what turned out to be a pivotal half time team talk.

Defender Hird spoke about the reception: "It helps when you know they're booing for a reason, then they got behind us in the second half. With our fans they're good fans and it doesn't take much. 

"A bit of hard work, a couple of shots, giving them something to get behind us, but in the first half we didn't give them anything so they were right to boo."

The change in approach - including two substitutions - turned the tide and within a couple of minutes of the restart Jamal Campbell-Ryce began what would become a four-goal fightback, Hird netting the second.

"It was a bit of a relief really," said Hird. "At home this season we've struggled to break teams down and score goals, that goal got us back in the game.

"I should be scoring more goals really, I think I got four or five last season and five's always my target. That goal's only my second this season so hopefully I can still get a couple more before the end of the year.

"I'm not a believer in performances over results, but I think performances breed confidence. The way we were playing in the second half, I think we were on top for the whole 45 minutes.

"Their second goal was against the run of play, so when it went in it didn't really knock us out of our stride because we'd been playing that well that it was a case of keeping going and we scored another two good goals and dominated the half.

"It's massive for our season, we said in the dressing room at half time that the second half would define our season, and hopefully it will."

With six games to go and a buffer that will still need extending to ensure safety, Hird admits that he and his team-mates are starting to peak at the Sky Bet League 1 table.

"We do look at this stage of the season," he said. "Before the game was the first time as a team and with the management that we've acknowledged what we need to stay up.

"We've earmarked a certain figure, I'm not going to say what that is, but this three points is really big to achieving that."

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