Vale’s reserve team played out a goalless stalemate with Walsall on Wednesday afternoon, but the return of Danny Pugh was a real positive ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash away to Stevenage.
The midfielder got an hour of football under his belt during the draw, something which he was very pleased about after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Pugh picked up a knee injury during the fixture against Wycombe Wanderers back in August, but he is now looking to play his way into the first team picture once more.
He said: “It’s good to be back out there, getting a few minutes under my belt. I feel good, I just need the match sharpness now and the game today was a massive help.
“You can train as much as you like during the week, but there’s nothing like playing a game. That’s the closest we can get to a first team match so it’s good.”
The game provided Vale with a chance to get minutes into the legs of players and a number of first team players featured. Following the full-time whistle, Pugh was quick to praise the performance of the team.
He said: “There were some good individual performances out there and we were unlucky not to win the game.
“We had plenty of chances so it was disappointing not to take any of them, but a clean sheet isn’t a bad thing.
“The younger lads have come in with no problems. We’ve created opportunities, it’s just about being more clinical in that final third.”
Interim managers Chris Morgan and Ned Kelly could welcome Pugh back into the side to face Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium this weekend.
Speaking about the potential return, Pugh said: “We are playing a different formation, but it’s one I’ve played before so if called upon, I’ll have no problem getting back out there and slotting in.
“I’m ready, I feel good in training and I’ve now got 60 minutes in so I’m ready to go.”