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Whitfield: "Personally, I’m enjoying my football here"

30 November 2017

Vale come up against Yeovil Town in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round on Saturday afternoon, but Ben Whitfield is focused on beating his former club should he be in the squad.

Following a six-week lay-off through injury, Neil Aspin could welcome the youngster back into his team and that will be a welcome boost for the Valiants. 

Whitfield has confirmed that he is ready to feature if called upon and he is hoping that he and his teammates can secure a place in the third round draw.

He said: “My fitness is obviously going to be down because I’ve been out for six weeks, but my ankle feels fine and I’m ready to get back out there. 

“It would be massive for us to win. Potentially getting a big gun in the next round or Stoke City away, that would be massive for the club.

“We need to get through to the next round and the focus is now on Saturday.”

Having spent time on loan at Huish Park from AFC Bournemouth last season, the 21-year-old is familiar with the Glovers and how they play.

“They’re a strong side and obviously I was there last year so I know a lot of the boys and the manager very well,” he said.

“Their attitude and work rate is very good, but we are the same. If we work hard and play like we can, there’s no reason why we can’t win the game.” 

The midfielder has been a key figure in Aspin’s team since the manager joined the club back in October, playing regularly before picking up an injury versus Exeter City.

With his loan stint at Vale Park set to conclude in January, Whitfield has admitted that he’s enjoying his time in Burslem and that he would be open to staying put.

He said: “It’s been good, the lads welcomed me very well when I came in and the new gaffer has put his trust in me. 

“His philosophy and the way he wants to play suits me down to the ground. Myself and Marcus [Harness] were playing just behind Popey [Tom Pope] and I felt like that was good.

“Scoring goals and getting a few assists is what I want to do and that’s how you make a name for yourself at a club.

“Personally, I’m enjoying my football here. Obviously I need to get back in the side now, but if everything is right and I’m playing well again we will see what happens.”

On playing in front of the Vale supporters as opposed to in under-23 fixtures, he added: “It makes a huge impact and it’s a lot different from playing 23s football.

“You’re playing in front of thousands of people every week and you’re playing for the badge on the front.

“You want to do well, come out from a Premier League club and make a name for yourself. You’re not going to do that playing for the under-23s, so you’ve got to look forward.”


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