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Interviews

Neil Aspin on bringing in three fresh faces

1 February 2018

Neil Aspin insists that his most recent acquisitions will provide extra competition for places for the remaining months of the season, and the manager will be hoping his latest defensive reinforcements can boost the Valiants' Sky Bet League Two survival hopes.

Charlie Raglan arrived at Vale Park on loan from Oxford United on Tuesday before Deadline Day saw Kyle Howkins join on loan from West Bromwich Albion and Callum Howe make a permanent move from Lincoln CIty.

Following the departures of Gavin Gunning and Tom Anderson earlier in the month, Aspin was pleased to get the trio of new signings over the line and he believes that they will add strength in depth.

"On Sunday night when Tom Anderson got recalled, it left us really short with Gavin Gunning going as well so we needed to get players in and we had to do that quickly," he said.

"I had earmarked bringing in two, but then the chance came to get a third. At this stage of the season I would prefer to have extra players as opposed to not having enough - there is more competition now and I will pick whoever deserves to play.

"You'd like to have competiton in every position and we did try to bring in other players, not just defenders. Trying to get strikers in isn't only difficult, it's the added wages and extra expense too which make it hard to do.

"With the lads we have brought in, it hasn't cost us too much and we do need to start keeping clean sheets, so this adds extra competitiveness across the back line which is important."

Vale's next fixture sees Morecambe travel to Burslem in Sky Bet League Two, and after last weekend's draw with Colchester United, Aspin's side will be looking to extend their unbeaten home run in the league which stretches back to the beginning of November.

Tom Pope scored twice as the Valiants ran out 3-0 winners versus Morecambe at the Globe Arena back in October, but the manager knows that it will be a fresh challenge when the two teams meet this time around.

He said: "There are nine teams fighting to stay in the league and that is a big prize, so every game is a difficult one and each point is vital. We need to win games and we would rather do that as soon as possible, but every match is of equal importance.

"The players want to do well and they have a good attitude, but performances dictate how your confidence is and if you're not playing as well, it obviously becomes lower than it is when things are going well.

"I have a team in mind for Saturday and that won't change really, but over the coming weeks, all of the players have got a chance to get in the team. If somebody is doing particularly well in training, it would be wrong not to give them an opportunity."


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