Can Port Vale build on their good recent form with a home victory over FGR? Here’s our brief guide…
Pope ruled out as Vale eye loanees
The Valiants have given an injury update on top-scorer Tom Pope ahead of this game. According to manager John Askey, Pope will not be risked until he is 100% fit which won’t be until after this match.
In other news, Vale have expressed a tentative interest in loan duo Mitch Clark and Adam Crookes who are both out of contract in the summer.
Vale manager says home form is vital
“I’ve said since I came in that home form is vital for us if we’re going to stay up. You want to play well in front of the home support. The last few games they’ve been able to get behind us and hopefully that’ll be the case again. It’s down to the players performing so that the crowd can do that and enjoy it…”
Port Vale manager John Askey
“It’s always a tough game at Vale Park, it’s a big pitch but it’s one we’re looking forward to…”
FGR manager Mark Cooper
The two sides have only met on four previous occasions and it stands even with a win apiece. The Valiants have only faced FGR once at home and that 2017 fixture ended in a 1-1 draw with Dan Turner netting for the Valiants.
The last match was earlier this season when Port Vale earned a 1-1 away draw thanks to a late penalty from Tom Pope (right).
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Cooper in charge of FGR
The well-travelled Mark Cooper has been manager of Forest Green Rovers since 2016. He has now managed the club for over 200 games and was appointed just before their play-off win took them into the Football League. Cooper has over 650 games as a manager including spells at Swindon Town, Kettering and Tamworth.
Gunning could feature against his former club
Gavin Gunning earned cult status at Vale Park after an extravagant celebration to mark his first goal for the club. However, he left in controversial circumstances as turned down an offer from the Valiants to sign a deal with Rovers. Then-manager Neil Aspin later revealed he had disagreed with owner Norman Smurthwaite over the offer made to the defender. Since joining Rovers, Gunning has been a regular in the defence and is set to face the Valiants on Saturday.
Crossing the lines…
Other players to appear for both clubs in recent years include:
- Winger Sean Rigg
- Defender Lee Collins
- Winger Lewis Haldane (right)
- Striker Guy Madjo
- Defender George Pilkington