Analysis: Whose starting place is safe?

Pete T reviews the Oxford United game and ponders who, apart from Chris Neal, is guaranteed a start as Port Vale’s poor run continues.

Talking points:

Who else but Neal is nailed on to start? How will Thames Valley Plod treat us?

Man of the match:

Either Jones or Burge.

Player ratings:

Neal: 8
Little he could do about either goal and amazing penalty save off a decent strike from “Seany Rigg Rigg Rigg.”
McCombe: 6
Heads the ball out of the area he does.
Purse: 8
Battling, energetic, well timed and disciplined tackles. Vocal. But at fault for their first goal?
Duffy: 7
Purse light? Gets forward OK, steady, but not his best display.
Jones: 8
Despite a silly booking, had a good game. Pleasure to watch him bomb forward. Different class on the ball.
Loft: 7
Superbly taken screamer, top work rate, but looked lost at times in midfield, just didn’t “click” into gear.
Myrie-Williams: 6
Some of the Vincent malaise rubbing off? Only two moments of brilliance. Mainly anonymous.
Burge: 8
Another masterful display as we have come to expect. Like Lofty though: frustrated by an equally good Oxford midfield.
Pope: 7
Worked hard but to what end? Very little service.
Andrew: 6
Got up and down the left wing a few times.
Williamson: 7
Put in a good shift. Frequently received the ball well under pressure, but then failed to turn his man.
Morsy: 6
Subbed on at 86′ Why? what was up with Burger?
Hughes: 6
Subbed on at 71′ made some effort.
Dodds: 6
As above but ineffective on the wing.

Other ratings:

Ref rating : 7

Not afraid to get his cards out and got most things right.

Away support : 7

Great atmosphere in the  first-half. Understandably; the singing died down towards the end.

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