Five thoughts following Port Vale’s defeat to Fleetwood Town

Following Port Vale’s Carabao Cup loss to Fleetwood Town, Rob Fielding brings up five points which arose after the final whistle.

This is not a comprehensive list and you may not agree with our choices. If you don’t scroll to the bottom of this feature and click on the button to have your say (or add questions of your own) on the dedicated forum thread.


Port Vale player Manny OyelekeRotating the Port Vale squad creates competition for places

It should be of comfort to fans that a Vale side with ten changes in it can give a very strong League One side a tough test. John Askey is clearly using the cup programme to make sure that the likes of Cristian Montano and particularly Manny Oyeleke get match action and in my view the rotation is justified.

By boosting the fitness of squad players it will increase competition for places all across the squad. Fitzpatrick or Montano at left-back? Which of Oyeleke, Whitehead, Burgess and Conlon play in the centre? Who is the central striker? Rotation helps to make those decisions more difficult, giving the fringe players a run out, giving them a chance to push for a regular place and getting them match fit. With a fully fit squad and such competition for places no player can afford to drop their standards.


Port Vale midfielder Danny WhiteheadWhitehead pushing for a start

John Askey wisely brought off Manny Oyeleke even though he impressed and it was a sensible switch considering the midfielder’s recent injuries. Manny is probably still a little way off a League start but the same cannot be said of Danny Whitehead. He is doing everything he can to push for a start against Exeter City. Regular starter Scott Burgess has had a quiet season so far and Whitehead may soon push ahead of him and partner Tom Conlon in the engineroom.


Port Vale player Alex HurstHurst developing nicely

OK, so there are only three games to pick from, but that was comfortably Alex Hurst’s best game for the club. He looked dangerous against League One defenders and his workrate was impressive. It looks like two starts in cup competitions have really benefited him and given him confidence so it will be no surprise if he is given a continued run out in the Football League Trophy. If he does well enough he could even force his way into the League matchday squad.


Robinson needs more time

I really hope the boo boys don’t get on Theo Robinson’s back just four games into his second spell with the club. Yes, he missed one on Tuesday but he netted from the same position in the previous round and all strikers miss chances. Robinson didn’t really have a pre-season and will be missing that match sharpness that strikers need. He’s moved to a new club, a new manager, new tactics, new system, new coaches. His record shows his proven quality, so I hope fans are patient with him for a few games.


Port Vale goalkeeper Dino VisserVisser has been one of the signings of the summer

When John Askey announced he was looking for someone to challenge Scott Brown, many fans, myself included, thought it should be a young, up and coming player who could develop. So, when a 31 year old South African with barely any experience of the English game was signed, it seemed an anti-climax. How wrong many of us were. Dino Visser looks like he will push Scott Brown all the way and in previous seasons he would be an undisputed first choice keeper. He is arguably one of John Askey’s best summer additions.


Are there any we’ve missed?

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