It’s the first home fixture after THAT Checkatrade game – let’s hope all the focus is on the pitch and not on the away stand…
Well, at least the match is on after some doubts caused by the visit of Stoke City for the Checkatrade Trophy game.
In terms of personnel, Vale are expected to welcome influential veteran Leon Legge back after his recent battles with epilepsy. It’s not totally clear if Legge will play but if he does it is likely to be youngster James Gibbons who gives way.
“We have absolutely no chance if we play like we did on Saturday [against Morecambe]. We won’t go on a run lasting one game if we play like we did on Saturday and that’s unfortunately where we are at.
“Sometimes the players let themselves down which they did on Saturday and that’s why, to get a run of form going, the better teams in the league are consistent and that’s why they do well week-in week-out.
“Even when they play badly, there isn’t a lack of desire or will to play well – they are an honest bunch of players. I’ve said before that the modern day player can be influenced by social media. They can believe sometimes what they read, but if you’ve been in the game a long time you know you have to earn that respect…”
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin
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Man in charge
Michael Duff was a long-serving defender at Burnley making almost 400 appearances for the Clarets. This is his first managerial job having been appointed in September. He has been in charge for nineteen games.
Stats and facts
The two sides have met sixteen times and Cheltenham are just edging it with six wins to Vale’s five. The last game at Vale Park ended in a 3-1 win for Vale with Tom Pope (right) scoring twice and Ben Whitfield adding the other.
However, that remains Port Vale’s solitary win in the last four home fixtures against the Robins.
We have two featured connections this time around. Vale goalkeeper Scott Brown has been one of the team’s top performers this season. The veteran began his Football League career with Cheltenham making 282 appearances during a nine year stay.
Veteran striker Tyrone Barnett will not be eligible to play in the weekend’s game. Barnett has had a decent spell with Cheltenham with four goals in 21 games. It could well be that the forward ends up with Cheltenham on a permanent basis.
Crossing the lines
There are a number of players who have played for both clubs in recent years including:
Winger Kaid Mohamed (right) made a handful of appearances for Vale after a longer, one hundred game, spell with Cheltenham.
Winger Ashley Vincent had played for Cheltenham Town before joining Port Vale in 2012. He left Vale in 2013 to rejoin Cheltenham.
Goalkeeper Rob Lainton played a solitary game for Cheltenham while on emergency loan. He left Vale this season to join Wrexham.