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Interviews

Neil Aspin expecting 'difficult' test at Boundary Park this Saturday

18 October 2018

Port Vale make the trip to Boundary Park this Saturday as we return to Sky Bet League Two action to face Oldham Athletic, and Neil Aspin is expecting a tricky afternoon against the Latics.

The Valiants head into the tie looking to build on the positive result picked up on Tuesday night against Middlesbrough Under 21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Goals from Ricky Miller and Connell Rawlinson ensured Vale kept all three points in Burslem, and now Aspin will be hoping his side can replicate their impressive cup form in the league this Saturday.

Having not yet picked up a league point in the month of October, the boss will be looking for a response this Saturday, though knows it won't be an easy task against a difficult Oldham outfit.

He said: "After the results we've had and the run we're on, it would be absolutely ridiculous to say anything other than what I'm going to say.

"It is going to be a hard game, any away game is difficult, you know what it's like in this league.

"A big factor is we must not concede in the first five minutes like we've done in the last two games. You need to put a platform down to try and get a result."

The Vale boss has also provided an injury update of the current squad, including the status of captain Tom Pope and James Gibbons.

Pope did not feature on Tuesday evening against Middlesbrough in order to recover from a knock he picked up over the last few weeks. Aspin has admitted that the skipper is up against it to feature this weekend.

Gibbons made his first appearance since September 1st on Tuesday evening, playing 45 minutes of Vale's cup win. The boss has confirmed that the defender was only pulled from the game at half-time as a precaution and that Vale will be boosted by his return.

He said: "James Gibbons played half a game on Tuesday and he felt alright to play longer but as a precaution we took him off at half-time.

"It's not been an easy time for James, it's not like he's gone into a team that's full of confidence and winning games. He's had a lot to contend with, I would never change my opinion, he's got a great attitude and wants to play for the club.

"If he (Pope) can play then it's a plus for us, but it would be wrong to give supporters false hope, but you'd have to say at the moment that the chances are against him."


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