MATCH PREVIEW: Port Vale v Colchester United
Neil Aspin has promised to adopt an attacking outlook as he looks to get back to winning ways and steer his side further from the foot of the table.
The Vale boss feels striker Tom Pope has been isolated somewhat in recent games and is determined to do something about it.
According to the manager, Pope has had to ‘feed off scraps”, while the striker himself has an explanation of why that has been the case.
Pope said: “We played a lot of games over Christmas on heavy pitches and sometimes it can take its toll more on the players who are doing a lot more running round than the likes of myself.
“They are using a lot of energy so I think when you come out of the Christmas period and you have played a lot of games over a short period of time, your players who are doing all of your running and ‘your legs’ might start feeling the effects of that.
“But the gaffer has chopped and changed it to give those players a bit of a rest and hopefully now we can kick back on to where we were in December.”
Aspin says his side need to show their credentials if they are to overcome a Colchester side equally determined to get the three points at Vale Park on Saturday afternoon.
He said: “We need to be brave. We need to create more chances than we have been creating and we need to score more goals, so all round we have got to do better.
“We are not going to go into the remainder of the season just sitting back and hoping to keep clean sheets, we need to be positive, especially in the home games.
“We got pushed back against Yeovil and we need to be on the front foot and be more proactive in creating chances.
“We have got to improve our own performances and if we can do that we stand a chance of picking up points.
“We can’t go into games worrying about the different oppositions we are playing, we need to do better ourselves.”
Colchester have gone five games without a win since picking up all three points away to Crawley Town in their Boxing Day encounter at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Vale have picked up just one point in four fixtures since the turn of the year, though three of those fixtures were played away from Vale Park.
John McGreal’s side have picked up three points since that win at Crawley, Drawing away at Chesterfield and Cambridge, and finishing level against Grimsby Town at home last weekend.
Neil Aspin hinted at changes at Thursday’s press conference and the game could see a first start for on loan defender Zak Jules who is equally at home as a central defender or at left back.
Dave Johnson – 6TR
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