Port Vale make the trip to the Stadium MK this afternoon as they face MK Dons in Sky Bet League Two action and the boss is looking to halter The Dons' promotion hopes.
Fixture: MK Dons vs Port Vale
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Date: Monday 22nd April 2019
Kick-Off: 3:00 pm
Venue: Stadium MK
Referee: Alan Young
League Position: 19th
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (13 goals)
John Askey has urged his Port Vale side to bounce back following their two consecutive defeats to Exeter City and Stevenage. Vale fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Grecians before Stevenage ran out 4-1 winners at Vale Park on Saturday afternoon.
Although Vale are mathematically safe, the boss still wants his side finishing the season strongly and is looking to 'spoil the party' as his side travel to the Stadium MK. However, he will have to fair without Manny Oyeleke who is yet to recover from a calf injury picked up against Crewe Alexandra.
Tom Pope, Ben Whitfield and Leon Legge all returned to the starting 11 for last week's clash with Stevenage and with no new injury concerns, Askey could potentially name the same 11 this afternoon.
Mike Calveley was introduced late on against Stevenage and Askey admitted he would like to see more of the youngster before the end of the season, as the former man on loan looks to push for a place in the team.
"We'll prepare as we would prepare whether we had stayed up or not. The team will be a team that I think is the best team to try and win the game."
John Askey, Manager
League Position: 3rd
Top Scorer: Kieran Agard (21 goals)
A recent 2-1 win over Notts County put Paul Tisdale's MK Dons back on track as they continue their search for promotion. Goals from David Wheeler and Chuks Aneke were enough to secure victory on the day despite a late Ben Barclay consolation.
The Dons now sit in third place just one point off second-placed Mansfield Town. Although a play-off place is all but secured, Tisdale will want nothing more than gaining automatic promotion to Sky Bet League One.
Aneke was left on the bench for the Notts County clash, however, following his impressive performance, Tisdale will have a headache whether to recall the dangerous forward to the starting 11.
On the other hand, Alex Gilbey, Mitch Hancox and Jordan Moore-Taylor are all set to miss out having all undergone surgery.
One to watch: Kieran Agard
The Dons forward has been in scintillating form this season and will want to carry on in the same fashion this afternoon against the Vale.
Agard's career began with Everton, though having made only one appearance for the Toffees, the tricky forward left Merseyside for Yeovil Town. In 2012, he went onto join Rotherham United, before a two-year spell with Bristol City.
Agard then signed for MK Dons in 2016 for a club-record fee and he has now made over 100 appearances for the Dons.
Having scored in the reverse fixture earlier this season, Agard has gone on to contribute 20 goals and three assists this season and is certainly one Vale's defensive line will have to keep an eye on.
John Askey: "We'll prepare as we would prepare whether we had stayed up or not. The team will be a team that I think is the best team to try and win the game.
"It'll be tough. They're looking for automatic promotion or playoffs but we've got to make sure we go there and stop them from playing and try and spoil the party!"
Paul Tisdale: “Port Vale have taken points off most of the top-placed sides this season and will be full of confidence following a good run of form of late.
“John and his team will want the three points just as much as we do, in order to secure a positive end to the campaign.”
iFollow The Vale will be providing full 90-minute commentary from the match, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feeds will be providing live updates for the entirety.
There will also be the build-up to the game with the official Snapchat and Instagram accounts: officialpvfc.
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube, iFollow and social media.