MATCH PREVIEW: Port Vale v Yeovil Town
Vale face Yeovil Town on Saturday afternoon at Vale Park for the fourth time this season looking to beat the Glovers for the first time in four, following two draws and a defeat.
Memories of the last game between the two clubs in mid-December are raw, after the Glovers dumped Vale out of the FA Cup in the replay at Huish Park.
But one player who is hoping to put things right is young defender James Gibbons who was sent of in that fixture – the second time he has received his marching orders since bursting onto the scene.
Despite feeling the second red card of the two was more than a little harsh, Gibbons was forced to sit out a four-match suspension, while his team mates took ten points from their next four games
The youngster told local media yesterday: “I feel like everyone, not just me, we all owe them one for what happened at their place in the FA Cup. Everyone is looking forward to it and hopefully we will get a positive result this time.
“Coming back after being out suspended for four games and how well the team has done, I’m not expecting to go straight back in – all I can do is get my head down and put myself in the gaffer’s head for Saturday.”
Vale must put the FA Cup defeat behind them now and look to earn another three points to help creep further away from the bottom of the table, but as Neil Aspin pointed out, the Draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup has done Vale no favours.
Yeovil have been drawn against Manchester United in the next round, and the Vale boss recognises how that can motivate Darren May’s players in their league fixtures leading up to that fixture.
Aspin said: “We are going to be playing a team t hat is on the up in terms of confidence. They have had two good wind in the Cup and everybody will be desperate to play in the Manchester united game so they will get a knock-on effect from that.
“So you are going to have eleven players desperate to do well and try and impress, because they all want to be playing in that game and it certainly makes our task more difficult.”
Aspin disappointingly missed out on the December Manager of the Month award to Lincoln boss Danny Cowley, despite the two clubs having both earning 13 points and Vale facing much more difficult fixtures.
Having brought in exciting young prospect, striker Donovan Wilson from Wolves, Aspin will watch intently as the youngster turns out for Wolves on Friday afternoon before making the switch to Vale Park.
Aspin explained: “Because he had an injury to his foot, he wants to play in a game before coming to us. He didn’t want to come in without playing a game.
“We have let him train there and he will play forty-five minutes on Friday and we are going to watch the game in the afternoon, and if he comes through that he will be alright to go on the bench.”
Vale hope to have Tom Anderson available after missing out last weekend due to him breaking his nose against Notts County and requiring surgery. He is likely to turn out in a mask if he plays.
As the manager said, new loan signing Donovan Wilson is likely to take his place on the bench, but don’t be too surprised if he is introduced to the action at some point during the game.
Don’t forget to tune in to Boots Bats n Balls on Saturday morning at 10am for interviews with both James Gibbons and Neil Aspin.
CLICK HERE to listen to previous Boots Bats n Balls and Midweek Kickabout shows.
Dave Johnson – 6TR
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