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Neil Aspin aware Vale have to be at their best against Lincoln City

11 October 2018

Manager Neil Aspin says his side "have to do everything right" if they want to get to all three points against the league leaders at the weekend.

The Valiants are well aware of what is required to beat Lincoln after picking a 1-0 win the last time the two sides met back in April here at Vale Park, but also know the dangers the Imps pose having lost 4-0 in the cup to them in August.

The league leaders have made a flying start in their Sky Bet League Two campaign, picking 28 points out of a possible 36, and Neil Aspin understands full well the Valiants will need to be at the top of their game if they're to get anything out of it.

The gaffer insists that no matter what form you're in going into the game, when you play Lincoln it will always be a tough test.

"You expect a difficult game against a very strong team, a team that you need to be on your toes for from the first whistle.

"You need to make sure you compete well and defend well. If you get chances you need be to clinical because you don't get a lot of chances against them. They're a team where if you are going to get any joy, you've got to get everything right.

"You also need decisions to go for you. In the two games we've lost to them, we've obviously suffered at the hands of extremely poor refereeing decisions which haven't helped us in that cause. To get a result, you need everything to go for you on the day."

Heading into the fixturel, the Valiants will be looking to improve their October form having ended September on such a positive note. Four games unbeaten has been followed by two defeats in the league, and Aspin will be looking to rectify that this weekend but will once again have to rotate his squad.

The gaffer has confirmed in his press conference today that he does have some players unavailable, and some have yet to train ahead of Lincoln. The game comes too early for the likes of Manny Oyeleke, Cristian Montano, Scott Quigley who still require more time to recover. 

Having not changed the squad for four consecutive games, the manager is now having to dive into his squad and make changes due to the injuries, and is learning a lot about his squad depth.

"I think there's competition for places, the squad isn't as strong as it needs to be if we're going to compete at the top end of the table there's no question about that. It won't happen overnight or in six months, it takes time.

"If you're making a change you need to replacing like for like, I think that's the top and bottom of it. If you've got an team that you think is the starting XI you need to have 11 that are coming in that are equal to the 11 that start.

"It's not always going to be the case but ideally that is what you'd like to have..."


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