Micky gives nothing away ahead of the Northampton match
The debate has been going on all week, or at least since Clayton McDonald picked up his fifth booking of the season at Burton on Tuesday to earn an automatic one-match suspension.
Who will partner John McCombe at the heart of the Vale defence at Northampton? The two main contenders are Joe Davis and Gareth Owen.
Defender Richard Duffy will also miss out after picking up an injury in the 1-1 draw at the Pirelli Stadium, but that will be an easier decision for manager Micky Adams..
“I don’t think it will be the decision of a tactical genius to put Adam Yates back in at full back, I think that’s the obvious choice, and as for centre half, we’ve got young Davis and old Owen.” said Adams.
“I am probably being a bit disrespectful to Gareth there. Gareth has been frustrated and he has been in to see me on a number of occasions and asked if he can go out on loan.
“I have always reiterated to him that we have got a twenty one man squad and we can’t bring anybody in to replace him so he is going to have to sit patiently until the takeover is completed and he has accepted that and now he might get an opportunity come Saturday.
“We all see the potential in Joe Davis. He’s a bit raw at times in as much that he tries to win balls that he perhaps can’t because of his size – he’s not the biggest of centre halfs.
“But in terms of enthusiasm and commitment to the cause, I know Joe will not anybody down, so there are two good options for us.
“Joe is learning all of the time and we are doing a lot of work with him on the training ground. He understands better what the league is all about, but he is still relatively young in terms of appearances.
“He is only 19-years-old and I spoke to him in the summer and asked him whether there was any other apprentices playing at this level in the second division at centre half, and the answer to that is no, not even in his dad’s team.
“He has to be patient. We have to make sure that we look after him. It’s a big test for anybody against Akinfenwa, if he plays, and indeed in Clive Platt if he plays.
“You are talking about two decent centre forwards who, on their day can cause teams problems.
“Northampton have got their strengths, but they have also got weaknesses and my team can expose their weaknesses. All I know is that it is going to be a tough old game.”
The game at the Sixfields Stadium kicks off at 2.00pm tomorrow.