Port Vale: Tom Conlon award, James Gibbons and Mark Cullen latest and Salford strengthen



John Askey is looking forward to seeing James Gibbons back in action in the New Year.

The 22 year old right back suffered a hamstring tear in the final stages of the 3-1 Trophy win at Wigan on October 6 and had surgery last Saturday.

Vale moved quickly to replace Gibbons by bringing in Mitch Clark on loan from Leicester City until January but the home grown right back certainly hasn’t been forgotten.

Gibbons had only just fought his way back to fitness following a knee injury in pre-season but had looked the part in his two games, starting at Morecambe and again at the DW Stadium.

The manager said: “James has had an operation so it will be six weeks before he comes out of his cast.

“We all feel sorry for James because he is at that age where he is developing. He had a good season last season and came back really fit and strong. In the couple of games he was back, I think he looked a little more assured with the experience he has under his belt now.

“It is a shame for him but hopefully he comes back in the New Year and shows us what he can do.”

VALE were due to make a late decision on Mark Cullen after the striker missed last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Carlisle with a calf strain.

Cullen has been first choice in league games for the central striker role in Vale’s usual 4-3-3 formation, but Askey went with a 4-4-2 with Tom Pope and Theo Robinson up front against the Cumbrians.  

The manager was hoping former Luton and Blackpool striker Cullen would come through training on Friday and so be available for selection.

CONGRATULATIONS to midfielder Tom Conlon who has won the League Two goal of the month award for his superb free kick in the 2-0 win at Exeter. 

The award was settled by the public, with Conlon winning 52 per cent of the vote to beat efforts from Crawley Town’s George Francomb and Barrow’s Michael Jones.

Lead Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Month judge and Sky Sports Pundit Don Goodman said: “Over the years this beautiful game of ours had produced many wonderful exponents of the textbook free kick from 25 yards out.

“All too often when a free kick is awarded in this position, the feeling of excitement is swiftly replaced by disappointment as the effort fails to test the ‘keeper.

“However, there was no need for Vale fans to worry here, as Conlon’s effort was expertly delivered with the precision and power to find the top corner.”

CAPTAIN Leon Legge says football is just not the same without supporters.

Speaking in the match programme, he said: “Playing anywhere without fans, whether it’s football or rugby, you want the fans to generate that atmosphere and the buzz and adrenaline they bring – otherwise it can be a little bit soulless.

“You look around, in a ground like ours, and there is just….nothing. You don’t want to hear the shouting of other players, you want to hear the home fans!

“That’s what makes football. It’s the fans’ game and brings a lot of passion – that’s why we enjoy it so much. We are hoping they are allowed back as soon as possible.”

SALFORD have signed Manchester United centre back Di’Shon Bernard on loan in time for this Saturday’s game.

The 20 year old, who made his United first team debut in the Europa League in November, is going out on loan for the first time.

He told Salford’s website: “I’m really happy to be here, it’s a different experience for me, the first time I’ve been in men’s football, and I just want to get going.

“It’s going to be much more challenging for me. Obviously, 23s you’re not challenged physically but we’re going to be playing against men now so it’s going to be a big, big test for me.”





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