Key points from John Askey’s press conference ahead of Port Vale v Tranmere



John Askey says his players were hurt by defeat to King’s Lynn but shouldn’t let that FA Cup result detract from their league form.

The Vale return to league action at home to Tranmere Rovers this weekend looking to build on an impressive start of 19 points from the first ten games.

That made last weekend’s first round defeat to the National League side all the more surprising but Askey says analysis of the performance tells a rather different story than simply the 1-0 result.

He said: “It hurt them but I have watched the game again and, had we played it another ten times, we would have won (them). You can’t do anything about referee’s decisions, the chances that we missed…… they had one chance in the second half and took it. So, sometimes it’s not meant to be.

“We don’t dwell on things like that. The important thing is we have been playing well. We have created a lot of chances and, as the season has gone on, we have continued to improve. Hopefully we can keep that going.”

Askey made eight changes for Tuesday night’s Papa John’s Trophy game at home to Liverpool as Adam Crookes, Scott Burgess and Nathan Smith were the only three players who remained.

The 4-2 win over the Reds under-21s proved to be a useful exercise as Vale guaranteed their place in the knockout stages, Manny Oyeleke got 45 minutes on his return from injury and Askey got the chance to assess his attacking options as Mark Cullen, Theo Robinson, Harry McKirdy and Alex Hurst all featured.  

Askey expects a tough game this weekend against a Rovers side who started the season among the favourites for promotion but parted company with manager Mike Jackson after taking only nine points from their opening ten games.

But they have improved since coach Ian Dawes took caretaker charge, winning 1-0 at Harrogate in the league and 2-1 at home to Accrington in the FA Cup.

So, Askey said this will be a stern test as Vale try to continue their league form: “Things have been going well. But we know it will be tough, Tranmere, since their previous manager has gone, have improved. They have one or two players back, they have a different way of playing and they are going to be a tough team. I think as the season goes on they will be in and around it.

“Every game is important and as the season goes on they get more importance attached to them. We hope that is the case come the end of the season.”

Defender Zak Mills is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.  The 28 year old would have featured against Liverpool under-21s but those plans were changed after his positive test was returned.

Askey explained his test doesn’t mean other players have to isolate.  Players have started travelling in on their own and keep their distance when changing.

He added: “On the training pitch at least we are in the open air, so we are doing everything we can.”





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