Ilkeston and Stafford matches very much first team games
Vale players have up to now been in action in forty-five minute spells, but boss Micky Adams will now step things up a little, starting with the game against Ilkeston this evening.
He will send out eleven players with the intention of giving them all ninety minutes and will repeat the exercise on Wednesday against Stafford Rangers.
The Vale manager said: “At both Ilkeston tonight and then at Stafford tomorrow night, I can’t emphasis enough that both games will be treated as first team games.
“We have got a squad of twenty one professional players at the minute and players will play ninety minutes.
“Obviously in the first few games and the first few weeks of pre-season it is important that you get a base fitness and no more than that and people who read too much into the teams you put out there are barking up the wrong tree.
“What you have got to do is look at the games early on as a fitness exercise and a chance for everyone to get the rustiness out of their systems.
“What we are looking for now is individual performances building up to the start of the season against Burnley in a fortnight’s time.
Not only will the football step up a level, there will also be an improvement in the state of the pitches Vale will play on, something Micky was keen to point out ahead of tonight’s game.
“The only thing that was disappointing with the Irish tour was the state of the pitches in some areas and the weather, but generally we got everything out of the tour that we wanted.
“It’s nice to come back now to our pitches which are great. Our training ground looks well and hopefully we will be playing on some good pitches leading up to our games here at Vale Park.”