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Neil Aspin expecting tough test at Mansfield

15 November 2018

Neil Aspin is looking forward to this weekend's trip to Mansfield Town as his side look to stretch their unbeaten run to five games in Sky Bet League Two, but he is expecting a difficult fixture.

The Valiants earned a point which ensured mathematical safety the last time they played at the One Call Stadium, with Tom Pope's late header salvaging a draw despite Mansfield enjoying most of the attacking pressure.

Having fallen to a heavy defeat to the Stags in the earlier meeting between the teams in the 2017/18 campaign, the Vale boss believes his players will have to be at their best to get a result against David Flitcroft's men on Saturday afternoon.

"I've watched Mansfield play and I've looked at the players that they have, and they're a team I expect to challenge at the top end of the table," said Aspin.

"What I expect from us is that we go there and give them a really good game. Whoever comes out on top is going to have to work exceptionally hard to get a result.

"We're not going there to sit back. We have to be disciplined in our defending, but we must carry a threat going forward as well, so we will be looking to do that."

Manny Oyeleke and Cristian Montano both made their return from injury during last Sunday's Emirates FA Cup clash against Sunderland, and Aspin is delighted to have them both back involved and available for selection. 

Another player who could be named in the squad is Scott Quigley after he scored in Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy success away to Walsall, but Aspin insists that every player is vying for places and it's a good position for his squad to be in.

He said: "Everybody is in my thoughts and it would be wrong to say that certain players don't have a chance of playing. I will change things if I need to.

"We've got another day of training to negotiate and hopefully I'll have everyone to pick from. I'd certainly rather be in this position than the one when we played Lincoln and we really were struggling with six players injured.

"It's much better to have those players back available, and hopefully that will continue."


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