Darikwa hoping history is repeated at Vale Park
Summer signing Tendayi Darikwa will be hoping history is repeated when the Clarets take on Port Vale in the Capital One Cup.
The 23-year-old was unbeaten in four meetings against the Valiants with former club Chesterfield which included a perfect record from two trips to Vale Park.
The right back netted in his first encounter against the League One side when adding to a Jay O’Shea opener in the 64th minute in December 2012.
Darikwa then featured for the entirety as the Spireites won 2-1 almost 12 months ago despite the dismissal of defender Ian Evatt.
He said: “My record at Port Vale? I’ve won a few games and I’ve managed to nick a goal there as well. I don’t think I’ve lost there so hopefully I can keep that record going.
“Every game, whether it’s league or cup, they’re all competitive and I think anyone who has played at Port Vale will tell you that it’s a tough place to go. That’ll be no different tonight. We’ve got to be switched on and whichever team the gaffer puts out I’m sure they’ll go out there to win the game.”
Darikwa added: “It’s a new feeling for me to go in to the game as the team to beat. During my time at Chesterfield every cup game against the bigger teams we have always been the so called ‘smaller’ team looking for the scalp. It’ll be a bit different but we’ll need to be switched on and hopefully we can progress in to the next round.
“You’ve got to be professional in every game that you play. The pundits and everybody on the outside will probably expect us to win the game but I wouldn’t like to use the word ‘pressure’. We’ll go in to every game focussed no matter who it is against and no matter who they are.”
Goals from Chris McCann, Charlie Austin and Dean Marney helped the Clarets overcome Vale in the first round of the competition three years ago after Chris Shuker had given the hosts a ninth minute lead.
Darikwa is now aiming to build on Saturday’s debut at Elland road to help the club progress once more.
“On a personal note I was really pleased to officially make my Football League debut for the club,” he said. “Thankfully we didn’t lose the game but at the same time it would’ve been nice to get the three points.
“It was important to get the equaliser in the way that we did though. Any other team could’ve surrendered the three points after conceding so late but we went down the other end and got the equaliser which is pleasing.
“I like to get forward and get crosses in to the box. I also need to make sure that we’re getting clean sheets as well because that’s my job as a defender. Saturday was disappointing not to get the clean sheet but thankfully I got the assist for Vokesy.
“It felt natural on Saturday. There was the added pressure of it being the first game of the season which was at Elland Road as well. It was a bit difficult to get straight in to it but I really enjoyed it and I’m learning every day as much as I can off the management and the other players.”
He added: “It would be nice to get that clean sheet. First and foremost - if you’re keeping clean sheets then you’re not losing games. Hopefully we can take that in to the next games.
“It’s pleasing to have another game coming round so quickly so we can try to progress in to the next round of the cup.”