With the Valiants in FA Cup second round action this weekend, we take a brief look at our next opponents, League One side Sheffield United.
The man in charge?
Danny Wilson took over from a certain Micky Adams in May 2011. Wilson has been in charge for 81 games, winning 41, losing 14 and drawing 23.
It is Wilson’s seventh spell at management and the 52 year-old is fast approaching 1,000 games as a manager (he’s currently on 924).
Last time we met?
The last meeting was an away cup victory for the Valiants and many Vale fans will wonder whether it can happen again?
On that occasion, back in 2009, the Vale won a Carling Cup tie 2-1 thanks to a double-strike from Marc Richards (pictured).
Of Vale’s sixteen man squad from that day two years ago, only captain Doug Loft, Gareth Owen, Rob Taylor, Adam Yates, Sam Morsy, Louis Dodds and John McCombe remain at the club
Sheffield United are well in front. The Blades have won 19 games, compared to Vale’s five. There have also been nine draws.
However, Vale have a record of producing cup shocks against the Blades. The 2009 win was nothing compared to the upset in 1898 when Midland League outfit Vale put league leaders United out of the FA Cup. The game was played in front of a capacity 12,000 crowd at the Athletic Ground, Cobridge.
The team’s FA Cup record is dead level with one draw and one win apiece.
Midfielder Kingsley James (pictured) joined the club alongside fellow Blades youth team graduate Phil Roe in 2011. Both had been spotted by Micky Adams when he was the Sheffeld United manager.
James is now set to line-up against his former side in what will be only his third senior start for the Valiants. The 20 year-old’s run into the first-team has allowed him the chance to play against his former club, for whom he made one Carling Cup appearance.
James has told the official Port Vale website that his nephew will be a ballboy for this game.
Micky Adams has managed both clubs with varying degrees of success. Other players to appear for both sides include full-back Phil Roe, Vale legend Dean Glover (a loan spell at Sheff Utd), centre-half Paul Beesley, forward Geoff Horsfield, full-back Rob Kozluk, goalkeeper John Connaughton, left-back Len Birks, forward Jack Wilkinson (pictured), winger Paul Smith, striker (he’s not a winger, Mr Horton!) Marcus Bent and forwards Gary Mulligan, Gareth Taylor, Arian Littlejohn, Danny Webber and Gary Brazil.
Joe Davis is likely to line-up at centre-half as Clayton McDonald is injured and Liam Chilvers is cup tied. Captain Doug Loft played in a reserve game in midweek and could be pushing for a recall. But it is more likely that Vale will remain unchanged after the win over Aldershot and Loft could be set for a spot on the bench.
New signing Calvin Andrew could also join Loft on the bench with the in-form Ben Williamson (pictured) set to continue upfront.
Danny Wilson is unlikely to make too many changes to his side. The Blades boss sees this game as an important match which could lead to a lucrative game against a big club in round three. Kevin McDonald will be suspended for the home side with David McAllister set to replace him. Striker Dave Kitson is on the long-term injured list alongside Mark Howard and Lecsinal Jean-Francois.
“Of course it going to be a difficult tie and with the return of Micky Adams, I am sure that will add a bit more spice to the occasion. When you are in the second round of the FA Cup all that matters is progressing to the third round when you could draw a big gun.”
– Sheff Utd’s Ryan Flynn
“Potentially there is a big prize and some income at the end of it, so we will put our strongest team out against Port Vale.”
– Sheff Utd manager Danny Wilson
“I’m not sure how it will feel to go back. I’ve focused this week on preparing the team and making sure they’re right and not thought about me, but it will be special for me and my family.”
– Port Vale manager Micky Adams
Sheff Utd manager Danny Wilson lives on the same street as former Vale striker Bob Newton.
Newton revealed his “celebrity” neighbour in an interview with OVF a few weeks ago.
Now, would you really want to share a street with this man (pictured)?