Neil Aspin is ‘grateful’ for the more relaxed schedule in September, with only Saturday games to be played this month. The boss believes it can only help his side prepare better for their upcoming fixtures.
Since the start of the season, Vale have endured a packed schedule with little respite between fixtures.
Aspin’s side have endured little success during their midweek fixtures this season, having been knocked out of the Carabao Cup at home to Lincoln, as well as a disappointing away loss to Carlisle United.
As the season continues on, Vale will enjoy a more relaxed schedule throughout September, and Aspin believes this can aid his side’s preparation.
He said: “It’s good in terms of preparation when you’ve had a couple of players that are injured and you’re trying to get them fit – so to not have a Tuesday game is good.
“It’s a long week in terms of when we’ve lost a game on Saturday – I did feel the performance was good on Saturday. We’re not in a good vein of results, so of course you’ve then got all week to remind yourself of that.
“I’ve got all week to remind myself we need to get a result away from home.
“Sometimes you need a game, just to get another game out of your system – but I’m quite grateful we don’t have a midweek game this week.”
The boss has also provided an update on Colombian full-back Cristian Montano, who was forced off during the 2-1 defeat to Carlisle with injury.
The full-back has featured in five of Vale’s seven games this season in all competitions, playing in a number of different roles both as part of the defence and attack, though is likely to miss out this week with an injury to his medial ligament.
Aspin has now provided an honest verdict on the defender’s performance so far this year, believing he has plenty of room to improve, having the capability to be a top player.
He said: “It doesn’t look too good in the short-term - he’s got a problem with his medial ligament, obviously he got a bang on his knee.
“We’re going to have to look at what we’re going to do in that position because he’s going to be struggling for Saturday.
“I have to be honest, he’s not played as well as I’ve expected him to play this season. He needs to do better like a lot of the players.
“I have all faith in him – he’s a confidence player, he needs to be given that confidence, but eventually a player has to take responsibility for his performances.”