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Manny Oyeleke upbeat ahead of Checkatrade Trophy tie

29 November 2018

Manny Oyeleke believes that he and his Vale teammates are good enough to compete with any opponent in Sky Bet League Two, but he knows that they must replicate the standard of display they produced in Tuesday's win at Yeovil Town.

The 25-year-old played 76 minutes of the 3-0 triumph and he made a positive impact in the heart of midfield, but he is keen to ensure that he keeps on improving to cement his place in the side.

Having suffered several injury setbacks and picking up a one-game suspension too after he was sent off in the game away at Mansfield Town, Oyeleke is hoping that he can gain a run of matches now over the next few weeks.

He said: "It's frustrating that I've had a few injuries and been suspended as well, so it's been a bit stop-start for me, but hopefully that's the end of those worries now.

"More importantly, it's about the team, so I've been more disappointed with the fact that we've been inconsistent. Hopefully I can just play as many games as I can and if the gaffer is selecting me, I'll be striving to help the team get results.

"Tom Conlon is a really good player who has a great left foot. He has great passing and he can see them well, but he has an aggressive streak in him too which helps make him a solid central midfielder.

"He's a good player to play with and I enjoy lining up alongside him, but I hope he enjoys playing with me too! He's a really good teammate and he adds a lot of value to our team."

Following the triumph over Yeovil during midweek, Oyeleke is convinced that Vale will take the positives into next Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy clash with Stoke City's Under 21s. 

After topping their group, the Valiants sailed into the knockout stages with a perfect record, but the midfielder is expecting a difficult game against a Stoke outfit who are also yet to lose in the competition.

He said: "We are looking forward to it. When the away team sold out their stand, it highlighted to us just how big of a fixture it is, and I know that our fans will respond in the same way. 

"They would prefer it if we were playing Stoke's first team as we would too, but regardless of that, it's a cup that gives us the opportunity to get to Wembley - we want to win it.

"We are up for it, but it's still just another game and 90 minutes of football. We don't want to treat it any differently and we don't want to get nervous, but we do realise that there's more on the line than there is normally."


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