Vale's bid to challenge for a play-off place is a far cry from last term under Lee Sinnott and then Dean Glover, when they spent most of the campaign fighting a relegation battle.
Dodds made 37 starts last year but admits the pressure to perform to your maximum and keep your place in the starting XI is much higher this time around.
"If you play one bad game, the manager will take you out of the team. That is a good thing because last year, if you played one or two bad games, you knew you were still starting," the 23-year-old forward told the club's official website.
"It keeps everyone on their toes and trying to play their best every game."