Despite exiting this season’s FA Cup competition on Tuesday night in dramatic fashion, Vale boss Neil Aspin is looking to make it two wins in two league games following their home win against Cambridge United last Saturday.
During the FA Cup fixture, Cristian Montano and James Gibbons both received red cards meaning that they are unavailable for this fixture, and Aspin made the decision not to appeal either sending off.
He said: “There’s not much point in going down that road - we have just got to accept the punishment and get on with it.
“I’ve reinforced to the players that nobody is going to do us any favours and we are going to have to keep battling on and hope that over the season we will get some decisions in our favour.”
This was Gibbons’ second dismissal of the season, meaning that he will now serve a four match ban, and Aspin is aware of how big a miss the 19-year old is going to be: “He is a very important player for us. He is a player that we can never afford to lose, especially going into this period of difficult games.
“I feel for James because certainly there is no intent on his behalf, he is not that type of player. He is an honest player that plays with aggression, but it is controlled aggression.”
However, the 52-year old was impressed with his team’s reaction and performance on Tuesday night following the red cards: “I was very pleased with the commitment. We had a good spirit amongst the players before and after the game, and a togetherness that we need to keep.”
But, there are things that could always be improved upon, as he highlights: “Even with nine men we could have done a couple of things better which we have highlighted, but all in all it was a good effort to stay in the competition and the players showed that we wanted to.”
With his sights now firmly set on the trip to Carlisle, the gaffer is alert to the matter at hand and is conscious that his team needs to perform: “They’ve got plenty of options and they will cause a threat to us, but we have to get our own house in order to try and influence the game in a positive way ourselves.”