Port Vale latest from John Askey’s Friday press conference


Port Vale boss John Askey has confirmed Jake Taylor and David Amoo are available for tomorrow’s game at Walsall after coming through training this week.

Taylor has recovered from a knee injury and returned to the Vale this week from his parent club Nottingham Forest to begin his second loan spell with the club. Amoo has been out with a hamstring injury but has also trained.

However, they may have to be content with a place on the bench after the side impressed in last week’s 3-0 win at home to Colchester, a result that lifted the Vale to sixth.

Tom Pope and James Gibbons are also available after supension. The manager revealed Will Atkinson has picked up a knock in training but everyone else is available.

Vale are on a  high after taking 13 points from their last five games and selling more than 2,000 tickets for the Walsall game.

Port Vale boss John Askey

The manager added: “That’s what results do. They have gone really well for us in the last four or five games. It’s the first time during the season we have had a consistent run of back to back wins. Then to finally get in a play-off position has meant everything is coming together.”

The Vale are two points clear in the play-off places but only seven points off the automatic promotion spots. Askey alluded to the top three after Saturday’s win over Walsall and wasn’t entirely joking.

He explained today: “From the off we said what is the point in being in a competition if you don’t want to try to win it?  It’s still the same. We are still in there and still have a chance. While you have a chance that is what you have to aim for. That is what the players need to do.

“It is no use just settling and thinking ‘hopefully we’ll get in the play-offs’. If you start thinking like that then you can start losing one or two games by being negative. We have to be positive.

“Whether we get there or not is a different matter but there is nothing wrong in having a positive feeling.”

Askey feels Vale have been threatening their recent form for much of the season, as he explained: “I don’t know if there has been that much difference. You just get a feeling now when they are playing that there is a bit more togetherness, although it has not been bad all season.

“It is just when people are tracking back and winning the ball back, those little things that people don’t notice that gets you wins.   

“Three goals on Saturday came from us winning the ball back and, within two passes we had scored a goal. It was less than that for Mark Cullen’s goal for the third. It is the little things that make the difference. They have worked hard all season but are giving even more now. Hopefully we can keep that going until the end of the season.”

Vale face a Walsall side who came from two goals at home to Northampton to win 3-2 last weekend.  Darrell Clarke’s side features Zak Jules the 23-year-old defender who had an unsuccessful loan at Vale from Shrewsbury two years ago but who has made 22 first team appearances since joining the Saddlers last summer.

Look out also for Josh Gordon, the 25-year-old striker, from Birches Head, who was an academy player at Stoke City. He’s in his second season with the Saddlers, after spells Stafford Rangers and Leicester City, and has netted 11 goals.

Sky Bet EFL League Two: Port Vale v Walsall – Nathan Smith battles with Josh Gordon

Walsall’s Stoke connections also include midfielder Nathan Sheron, the nephew of former Stoke striker Mike, who is on loan from Fleetwood.

The Saddlers are the only team to have won in the league at Vale Park this season although Askey says revenge won’t be Vale’s prime motivation this weekend.

He added: “We are just looking to get the three points, it doesn’t matter who we are playing. It would be nice to go through the season without anybody getting the double on us. Walsall over the years have always been a bit of a bogey team for Vale but there is no reason why we can’t go there and get a result.”

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