Following the defeat to Mansfield Town on Tuesday, Vale travel to Sincil Bank to face Lincoln City in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday, a game which Neil Aspin brands as a ‘difficult’ test.
The Imps currently lie mid-table after gaining promotion from the Vanarama National League last season. They also boast an impressive home record, something that the Vale boss is wary of.
“You’d have to say that Lincoln away is a difficult game at any time of the season,” Aspin said.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for them and they had a great season last year, deservedly getting promotion.
“They’ve built on that and it’s going to be a tough test, but every game is difficult and we have to make sure that we’re better in certain areas.”
Two players that could feature at Sincil Bank on Saturday are Anton Forrester and Cristian Montano as both were handed game time during the game against Mansfield.
After spells out with injury, Aspin is happy to see them back in the squad and playing football. He also took time to praise their application following the defeat to the Stags.
He said: “I thought Anton did well in the first half but he just needed a goal. He had a couple of opportunities where if he had scored I’m sure his confidence would have went up.
“Montano did well when he came on, he was a threat and he performed well in the second half.”
James Gibbons is another player who is almost certain to feature in the next fixture having come into the team and cemented his place at right-back.
The youth team graduate recently penned a new deal, keeping him at Vale Park until 2020, and Aspin admits that he’s a big admirer of the defender.
“I have spoken a lot about James and he’s a player that I rate very highly,” said Aspin.
“But, he’s still learning the game and tonight was a different learning curve for him because it was a difficult second half where we were chasing the game and getting caught.
“We’ve got a young back four and they’re all still learning the game, so we’ve got to take things from tonight and try to rectify them on Saturday.”