Clean sheet required, but Vale will attack
Following the midweek win against Bury in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, there may be players who have worked their way into the manager’s thoughts for the game at Carlisle on Saturday, but the Vale boss wasn’t giving anything away.
He simply said: “There is nobody in the squad that is completely out of the picture, we’re trying to find a winning formula at the minute.
“As I said the other night, the effort and application for the game was there, it was spot on.
“We made mistakes, but regardless of whether you are playing a League Two club or a League One club, you’ve still got to get the basics right and at times we are not doing that. We need to tighten up in all areas.”
One player definitely out of the manager’s plans for the Carlisle fixture is defender Daniel Jones, who will be out for at least a couple of weeks.
The manager said: “He has had a scan on his groin and it shows he has go some damage so it will be two to three weeks.
“He is not available for Carlisle. We don’t know how he recovers as he has not had a major injury since he has been at the football club – he’s had little niggles.
“When he has he has normally been quite quick at recovering, so we would expect him back, if not for Leyton Orient, for the game against Coventry the following week.
“Carl Dickinson can slot in at left back, so it’s not a problem for us, but they are two different types of left back.
“Daniel is more of a forward thinking defender and Carl has a pride in his defending and wants to keep clean sheets.
“I’m not saying Jonesy doesn’t, but he will offer us that threat going forward, whereas I’m not sure Dicko does that, so what you get from one of them, you lose from the other.
“My priority at the moment is to get a clean sheet, so maybe Carl Dickinson at the moment is the best choice.”
The manager knows Vale won't have it easy on Saturday afternoon and was impressed by reports on Carlisle from last weekend and by what he saw for himself.
He said: “We Have had them watched at their last game down at Brentford. They have had a problem keeping clean sheets and losing games of football.
“Against Brentford they adopted a style of play that suited the players they have got, although they will have to change the team around from last week.
“They have lost a couple of players, one going back to Charlton and Danny Butterfield will not be available for them.
“They have got a couple of players in this week in Leon McSweeny and also Conor Townsend from Hull – a left back and a right back if you like.
“They are having the same problems as us at the moment, keeping clean sheets, but they went down to Brentford and battled really hard.
“I’ve had a look at the game myself and they battles really, really hard – they could have lost it but did enough on the day to get a clean sheet and a point, so it is never easy going to Carlisle, everybody knows that.”