Port Vale manager Neil Aspin has praised duo Anton Forrester and Ben Whitfield but says they both need consistency to nail down a starting place.
23 year-old Forrester has been mostly employed from the bench in first-team games but the striker did his chances of a start no harm with a hat-trick for the reserves during a 6-0 thrashing of Mansfield Town on Tuesday afternoon.
Bournemouth loanee Ben Whitfield’s fine end-of-year form has tailed away recently and he has been in and out of the first-team starting eleven.
He has not done his chances any harm for Saturday. If you have a reserve game you want players to give a good account of themselves and make you think about selecting them for the next match.
Commenting on Forrester Aspin told the media: “He has not done his chances any harm for Saturday. If you have a reserve game you want players to give a good account of themselves and make you think about selecting them for the next match.
“Anton has came on as substitute in the last couple of matches, but it was good for him to get some goals on Tuesday and he will be considered for Cheltenham.
“He is a player who possesses a lot of good attributes, but it is a case of who can get those out of him and whether or not he can do it himself – can he perform week in, week out? If he can do that, he could forge the career that he wants. Sooner or later the penny has to drop and it has to be down to the player.
“Because Anton has had injuries, I think they have affected him so psychologically he has been worried about breaking down. Until he overcomes that hurdle and he can let himself go – trusting in his body to deal with the physical demands – hopefully we can see the best of him out on the pitch.”
Commenting on Whitfield the manager added: “With regards to Ben, he is at his best when he works as hard as he can. When he is prepared to cover every blade of grass, whether it is wide or behind the striker, that is when he is at his best.
“That is all we have ever asked of him, to put in that work rate, but he and the team have not been at that level since the Luton game.
“I think Ben’s attitude has never been in doubt, but you have to do your talking on the pitch.”
The Valiants travel to fellow strugglers Cheltenham Town on Saturday in a crucial game and it remains to be seen if both players will feature at Whaddon Road.
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