We take a look ahead to Vale’s next fixture – a League Two home game against Plymouth Argyle with a brief look at Vale’s next opponents.
Man in charge
No-one at the moment. Young manager Carl Fletcher was sacked after Plymouth’s defeat to Bristol Rovers and the club are still in the process of finding a new manager. Coaches Romain Larrieu and Kevin Nancekivell are in temporary charge.
Last time we met
Vale won 3-1 at Home Park back in September. The Valiants’ goals came from a Jennison Myrie-Williams penalty, Ashley Vincent and sub Ben Williamson (pictured right).
It’s a close run thing. Plymouth have 21 wins, Vale have 23 and there have been nine draws.
Peter Swan had wildly contrasting fortunes at Vale and Plymouth. An astute John Rudge signing from Hull in 1991, Swan formed an impressive central defensive partnership with Neil Aspin and Dean Glover, which resulted in the Autoglass Trophy win of 1993.
However, his spell at Vale was not without controversy as Swan, a renowned practical joker and “fully paid-up member of the drink culture” received numerous “b*ll*ckings” from manager John Rudge. Perhaps his most notrious moments occurred at Wembley. In the Autoglass Trophy Swan played while still under the influence after a heavy night’s drinking session, then in the following play-off final he became only the third Englishman to be sent-off at the Twin Towers as Vale lost to West Brom.
In 1994 he was sold to Peter Shilton’s Plymouth but the move was a complete disaster. He was named as captain in place of Steve Castle which made him the crowd’s boo-boy, his dog died, his wife endured a difficult pregnancy and his house was rumoured to be “haunted”. As a result Swan commuted from Stoke to Plymouth for a large part of his spell there. In 1995, he moved on to Burnley.
Players to appear for both sides include Damien McCrory, Nathan Lowndes and Will Atkinson.
Chris Birchall’s return to the Vale squad is dependent on International clearance following his signing on Thursday.
Otherwise Vale will make changes with John McCombe and Sam Morsy ruled out through injury and Ashley Vincent back to full fitness. Vincent could return at the expense of Calvin Andrew while Clayton McDonald is favourite to replace McCombe. One of Chris Shuker and Kingsley James is expected to replace Morsy in midfield.
Mark Molesley has completed his loan spell at Plymouth while Darren Purse (ironically linked to a possible Vale move) and Tyler Harvey are doubtful for the visitors. Paul Wotton is likely to return.
“Port Vale are flying high at the minute. They are a good team and the league table doesn’t lie. They have got some match-winners and good players. But we have got some good players ourselves and they were very focused in training yesterday. They have got a point to prove and they desperately want to put things right.”
– Plymouth coach Kevin Nancekivell
“Confidence is a fragile thing in footballers so we have got to try and capitalise on their uncertainty and get back to winning ways and I have got every confidence that you will see a different side on Saturday.”
– Vale manager Micky Adams