Saturday’s clash with Swindon Town saw Dimi Evtimov become Vale’s fifth goalkeeper to make an appearance this season, with a total of nine being used in 2017 so far.
Injuries seem to have plagued the goalkeeping department at Vale Park and Neil Aspin insists that he has ‘never seen anything like it’ before.
Rob Lainton, Sam Hornby and Kelle Roos are all out injured, meaning that either Evtimov or Ryan Boot will play between the posts during Friday’s FA Cup First Round tie with Oxford United.
“I have never known a situation like it and it’s going to be reflected out on the pitch, without a doubt,” said the manager speaking about the issue.
“Having spoken to the back four, they’ve never played with the same goalkeeper at any time so that makes it difficult.
“There has been a lot of bad luck, plenty of injuries and you’re not used to them being out consistently.
“It is one of the problems, but we’re getting into a situation now where we have got to start looking at the goalkeepers on the club’s books - somebody has got to stand up and be the number one.”
On-loan Derby County ‘keeper, Roos, withdrew from the squad the day before last weekend’s game against the Robins.
Since then, he has been back with his parent club receiving treatment and the manager is preparing to be without the 25-year-old again on Friday.
He said: “Kelle is not fit. We’ve got reports from Derby and we haven’t seen him this week because he’s been there for treatment.
“The ‘keeper who is playing on Friday knows that he’s playing and we will go from there.”
Having handed the starting slot to Evtimov last weekend, one player who could feature the time around is Boot.
The young goalkeeper kept a clean sheet during Vale’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Oldham Athletic back in August, but Aspin has been honest with him.
“I always believe that if you tell a player what the reasons are behind them not playing, they’ll be disappointed of course, but they tend to accept the decision you’ve made.
“He’s in the running to play on Friday night and if he does, it’s a chance for him to stake his claim.”