Richards welcomes inspiration

Richards hoping to follow in Lowe's footsteps

Richards: Back in action

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Marc Richards will use Bury's Ryan Lowe as inspiration as he aims to fire Port Vale to promotion.

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Lowe has just set a new club record of scoring in nine consecutive games, passing the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career at the grand old age of 32.

Richards, 28, did the same last season and was high on the League Two scoring charts with Lowe when his progress was stalled by a torn thigh muscle at the start of January.

Lowe's 24 goals have helped Bury into second place and, with Vale five points off the top three, Richards believes he could have the same impact for the Valiants.

"Ryan Lowe's been a revelation this season," he told skysports.com. "He scored a good few goals for Bury last season, but this year he's kicked on even more.

Routine

"We were level before I got injured and he's kept on scoring while I've been out. It's been frustrating watching the likes of him, Craig Davies and Adam Le Fondre scoring goals while I'm sat in the stands or watching from my settee on a Saturday afternoon.

"But I think there's no reason why I can't catch up. I'm back playing now so I can concentrate on doing well for the team and scoring some more goals because we're firmly back in the race for automatic promotion."

Richards made his first start in two months at Aldershot last week and headed his first goal since November, but since his previous four league goals had been from the penalty spot, it was actually his first league goal from open play for five months.

And the former Northampton and Barnsley striker showed he is firmly back on the goal trail by scoring both in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury - one a penalty - to take his overall tally to 17 this season.

"I missed a lot of games and the injury knocked me out of my routine because I was scoring a few goals," he said.

Big thing

"Thankfully I've come back and not felt anything from the injury. And for a striker, it was a big thing to get a goal from open play again.

"It's not the same when you're not scoring from open play and I'm glad to have put that one to bed now."

Shortly after suffering his injury, Jim Gannon was named as Micky Adams' successor and the new boss showed Richards he would have to earn his place back in the starting line-up, giving him three substitute appearances before recalling him at Aldershot.

"I was on the bench before my first start back, and righty so - the lads that had been playing had done well," Richards added.

"My match fitness was nowhere near where it should be because I'd been out but I'm back now, I've managed to get some goals and we've taken seven points from the last nine so it's going well."

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