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Manager Micky Adams believes Port Vale will become a target for the rest of League Two now they are top of the table.
Vale usurped Gillingham at the summit with a 2-1 victory over the Gills at Priestfield on Saturday.
"It is doubly hard now - we are there to be shot at," Adams told the club's official website. "We have experienced it before and certainly in my first spell at the club we didn't handle it too well.
"What we have got to do now is redouble our efforts because you are there to be shot at - like Gillingham were.
"We have got Bradford next and that is as hard a game as we could possibly get and I am sure they will want to knock us off our perch."
Vale have been there or thereabouts jostling for top spot for the whole season, but Adams insists a lot of work still lies ahead if the club are to win promotion.
"We can't start looking at promotion until we have got enough points to take us over the line. We are not there yet, we are a million miles away from it," said the Vale boss.
"But we have given ourselves a great opportunity to be successful this season. I'm not saying that we will be, but the platform is there for us to build on.
"We have got 19 games to go and we have got to get as many points as we can. We are over that magical 50-point mark in January and that is really, really pleasing for me.
"I think if you are going to be successful, how quickly you get to 50 points is a real marker and for us to achieve that by mid-January is fantastic."