Can Port Vale match their second-half performance against Exeter City and record a second home victory in a row when big-spending Salford City visit? Here’s our preview…
The return of defender Mitch Clark for a second loan spell will give John Askey food for thought but it’s highly likely he will stick with the same eleven that defeated Exeter City. It means a place on the bench for veteran Tom Pope. Injured centre-half Nathan Smith will be missing from the squad while this game is too soon for fit again duo Manny Oyeleke and Adam Crookes.
“We’ve got nothing to fear, if we start like we did second-half then we won’t be far off, we’ve just got to show the courage and the belief of each other and have that no fear factor of knowing whoever we play, no matter what, we have the belief in each other…”
Port Vale striker Richie Bennett has belief.
Meanwhile coach Dave Kevan has his say…
The two sides met competitively for the first time this season. In our last visit in the Football League Trophy it finished in a disappointing 3-0 defeat for the Valiants. The two sides also met in League Two earlier this season where it finished as a draw with Vale scoring through Richie Bennett (right). It means Vale are still seeking their first competitive win over City.
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Port Vale’s recent form is L-W-L-W-L-W so we’re sure John Askey will keen to see that sequence come to an end on Saturday. Salford City boast strong form this month with three wins in their last four games. It includes two consecutive away league victories.
Salford have dominated the League Two headlines in recent weeks after a series of high profile (and pricey) additions to their squad. It’s been a hectic January transfer window for the club with striker Tom Elliott joining from Millwall, Bruno Andrade moving from Lincoln City and Michael O’Connor also making the switch from Lincoln City. The club have also been linked with a move for Sunderland striker Will Grigg as they try to force their way in the promotion picture.
The Valiants are likely to lock horns with former midfielder Michael O’Connor who was a recent high profile addition to the Salford squad. O’Connor spent two years with the Valiants making seventy appearances and scoring ten times.
Vale fans will have fond memories of goalkeeper Chris Neal who was the man between the sticks when the Valiants last won promotion in 2013. Neal joined Salford in the summer but has been on the bench in recent games.