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John Askey open to rotating his squad ahead of Cheltenham

22 February 2019

Port Vale manager John Askey has confirmed he will be more than likely make a few adjustments to his team when they travel to Cheltenham Town tomorrow.

The Valiants go to Cheltenham in desperate need of three points as they sit just four points above the relegation zone. In his first two games as Port Vale manager, Askey made just one change to the starting XI that former manager Neil Aspin picked for his final game in charge against Newport, after Manny Oyeleke picked up a calf injury.

That injury has kept Manny out for the past three games so Askey has yet to see him in action. The gaffer however confirmed the midfielder had resumed training today ahead of tomorrow's game, which could be a big boost for the Vale should he be fit for tomorrow. 

With Luke Joyce picking up a groin injury this week and Oyeleke unconfirmed as to whether he will be ready to feature, Askey has admitted he could be tempted to make a few changes.

"I think we've got to. If you're not getting results you can't keep ploughing on the same way. I don't think the performances have been too bad, obviously I have to look at other ways of doing things.

"Tomorrow we will need to take our chances and get a win. It's a vital game, the effort has been there and we have played some decent football at times. 

"We just have to do that for 90 minutes now, but in each game we've played we've had our chances to get the win. Hopefully this Saturday is the game to do it."

With the likes of Macclesfield Town and Notts County breathing down the necks of Vale after picking up points in recent weeks, the upcoming games become even more important to secure more points for the table.

The Valiants would've been disappointed with their performances in recent weeks having failed to pick up any points against teams such as Cambridge United and Morecambe, who sit in and around Port Vale in the league table. 

Looking ahead to the fixtures, Vale have a host of games against teams surrounding them where picking up points will be vital. With Cheltenham, Notts County and Yeovil all upcoming swiftly, John Askey insists Vale can only take one game at a time, but wants his players to play their football without fear.

"Obviously we're looking to the Cheltenham game first. If we get a win there, you're looking to win every game! It would be nice to start Saturday obviously.

"The players have got to realise it's a game of football where they have to relax when they play and be confident if they're going to perform each game.

"Nowadays players are getting more used to it (pressure). It doesn't matter whether you're at the top or bottom, there's always something to play for."


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