Is this the fixture where Vale’s fortunes finally change for the better? It’s the million dollar question and at this stage nobody truly knows the answer.
Vale have already been written off my many, but don’t rule out a positive result for Michael Brown’s side at the Ricoh Arena this weekend.
Nobody can deny that Vale have put in good performances in their last couple of games, but they haven’t quite had the rub of the green.
The stats don’t paint a very good picture, that’s for sure – Vale have suffered four defeats on the bounce and haven’t found the net in the last three of them.
Stats don’t tell the whole story, however, though as most people will quickly point out, ‘it’s a results business’ – nobody can argue with that.
During Vale’s latest defeat at home to Notts County last weekend, the visitors were more than content to sit deep and soak things up in the hope they could earn themselves a point.
Then all of a sudden – bang! – the visitors were 1-0 up and they travelled back up the A50 with all three points in the bag, quite content in the knowledge that is doesn’t matter how you do it.
What Vale fans would give for a similar scenario, in their favour of course, at the Ricoh Arena against Coventry City on Saturday afternoon.
At the moment they, along with Michael Brown and his players I suspect, don’t give two hoots about performances, as long as they get a favourable result.
None of us will be too concerned if Vale don’t play particularly well against the Sky Blues if things go their way – if the ball goes in off the referee’s backside for the only goal of the game for a Vale victory, we’ll all be relatively happy.
On the injury front it is unlikely that Rekeil Pyke will be part o the manager’s plans after being troubled by a hamstring injury, but there is some good news elsewhere.
Tyron Barnett, who is yet to play a part in Vale’s campaign after picking up a hamstring injury in pre-season made his comeback for the reserves against Walsall in the week.
The manager has made it clear the striker won’t be fit enough to play ninety minutes just yet, but to have him involved in some way would give everyone a boost.
Let us all keep our fingers crossed and hope we have something positive to talk about come quarter to five on Saturday afternoon from a results point of view.
Dave Johnson – 6TR