Port Vale’s new signing André Bikey is aiming to have as sizeable an impact in the dressing room as on the pitch.
The 32-year-old joined the Valiants on a deal until the end of the season earlier this month after a spell with Indian Super League side Pune City, where he didn’t make a single competitive appearance due to injuries.
Vale are currently sat in the League One relegation zone and Bikey – who played in the Premier League during spells with Reading and Burnley – made his debut with a 58-minute cameo in last Saturday’s home draw with MK Dons.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s visit of AFC Wimbledon (3pm kick-off), the former Cameroon international said: “Last week was important for me, for the team, for everyone. I’m pleased that we got at least the point.
“I think it was a good game and a good point for us. The clean sheet was important because we have to start building the team from the back.
“We didn’t concede a goal and that was really important. It gives us a big lift for the next game.
“We’ll see what happens this Saturday, we’ll try to get the clean sheet first and then the three points.”
Bikey was handed a debut faster than manager Michael Brown anticipated. Yet another injury, this time to centre-back Remie Streete, forced him into handing Bikey an appearance while he is still battling for fitness.
But Bikey has explained he is keen to make an impact, on and off the pitch.
He continued: “From my side, everything is okay [fitness-wise].
“I’ve said to Michael, I’m not here for money or anything. I’m here to try to help in the dressing room and to help everyone because right now the team isn’t in a comfortable position in the league table.
“It’s true that we have some games in hand but we have to win those games. The most important thing is trying to focus on the next couple of games and to get ourselves in a better position.
“Always I’ll try to do my job, help the young ones and help in the dressing room and on the pitch as well, to try to get the best out of everyone and to get results as well.”
Bikey, who has played more than 200 first-team games in England, added: “The confidence in the team is there but I can’t guarantee to you that the full squad is confident.
“That’s why I’m here as well, that’s why I’m important as well in the dressing room, to try to help everyone to give them at least 50% of confidence. Everyone in the squad is important, not only the first eleven and the 18-man squad.
“I understand that when someone doesn’t play much he loses confidence. I think you have to remind every player in the squad that they are important.
“The confidence is there but we don’t only talk about it, we have to show it on the pitch. That means to score goals and get positive results and get out of our position in the table.”