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"The strikers have to produce on the pitch" - Neil Aspin gives us his thoughts ahead of Grimsby

5 March 2018

Manager Neil Aspin has made it clear that his strikers "have to produce", if they want to be considered in the starting lineup, ahead of the Valiants trip to Grimsby this Saturday.

The gaffer confirmed on Thursday that the Vale will be without captain and top goalscorer Tom Pope for the next few games, after undergoing surgery on his hernia today. 

Pope has scored 16 goals so far this season, with Cristian Montano falling second with six goals. Neil Aspin however, will be looking to his other strikers to produce the goals with his captain out injured.

"Knowing that Tom's not going to be able to play, it gives them the opportunity where they might think then, if I do well I might stay in the team.

"We've got a weeks training, you're hoping people can train well and who are desperately wanting to get the shirt for Saturday. We'll be in the position where we can train on grass, give players an opportunity and then it's up to them to show that they want it."

"They've all got the same goal, the same chance. Once they get picked they've got to produce on the pitch, a player can always say they've not had chances, but once you do get the chance then you've got to do your talking on the pitch."

One striker that could come into contention for the trip to Grimsby is 19 year old, Dan Turner. 

The young striker is a local lad and has progressed through the ranks of the club, and has already had three loan spells away from the club to gain more experience. 

Manager Neil Aspin confirmed that Turner, who has scored three goals so far this season, is in his mind for a chance to impress this Saturday.

"He will be considered like all the other forwards. There's no problem with Dan, I felt he needed to go out on loan to try and experience getting some more football. I think he learnt that it's not easy even dropping down a couple of leagues.

"It's difficult in those leagues as well. He's got his career in front of him, he's got to make sure he can forge a career because he's got a lot of years to play.

"The main thing is that he's realised, he's not deluded, he knows that when he's had chances he's not done as well as he would've liked. I always think that's a good sign that a player realises that, and he knows then that's he got to do more to justify playing."


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