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Match Previews

Match Preview: Port Vale vs Morecambe

16 February 2019

John Askey faces his first home fixture this afternoon as Port Vale welcome Morecambe to Vale Park in a clash that the new Vale boss has called a must win. We've compiled all of the information you need to know regarding the tie, below.

Fixture: Port Vale vs Morecambe

Competition: Sky Bet League Two

Date: Saturday 16th February 2019

Kick-Off: 3:00pm

Venue: Vale Park

Referee: John Busby

 

Port Vale

Form: LLDWLWLLDL

League Position: 20th

Top Scorer: Tom Pope (11 goals)

John Askey will be searching for his first win as Port Vale manager this afternoon as he takes charge of his side at Vale Park for the very first time. The boss tasted defeat in his first game in charge last weekend as Vale were overcome 1-0 by Cambridge United.

Despite the losing start, there is an air of positivity arond the squad with the likes of Tom Pope, Ben Whitfield and Connell Rawlinson all praising the gaffer's first few weeks at the helm. With fellow strugglers Morecambe next up for the Vale, the boss has described the game as a must win.

Askey may be without Manny Oyeleke as the midfielder has picked up a slight calf strain. Ricky Miller is a definite miss having not played out his full suspension for the dismissal picked up against Carlisle United. The likes of Kyle Howkins, Toby Edser and Callum Whelan will all be available for selection for a possible debut.

Morecambe

Form: LWLDLDDLDL

League Position: 22nd

Top Scorer: Kevin Ellison/A-Jay Leitch Smith (6 goals)

Jim Bentley has his Morecambe side sitting 22nd in the table, just one point clear of the drop zone. With the Shrimps just four points behind the Valiants, Connell Rawlinson has described the fixture as a 'six-pointer'.

Morecambe could be boosted by the return of captain Barry Roche, as the goalkeeper began training this past week; the Shrimps stopper hasn't made an appearance since October. 

However, this weekend's visitors remain riddled with injuries as a number of first-team players are set to miss out. Sam Lavelle and Andrew Tutte picked up injuries against Bury last time out, whilst Aaron Wildig, Andy Fleming, A-Jay Leitch-Smith and many more remain sidelined.

One to watch: Rhys Oates

The 24-year-old year forward wears the number 18 for the Shrimps. Oates' career began with Barnsley where he would sign his first professional contract in May 2013, after being named 'Academy Scholar of the Year'.

Oates enjoyed a number of loan spells during his time at Barnsley including at Gainsborough Trinity, Stockport County, Grimsby Town and Chester, before moving permanently to Hartlepool United.

The forward made 99 appearances for the Monkey Hangers before signing for Morecambe in July 2018.

Having contributed five goals and an assist so far this season, Oates will certainly prove a threat as Morecambe go in search of their first win in eight league games.

Talk

John Askey: "I keep saying to the players all you can do is put everything into it. It doesn't matter who you're playing whether it's top or bottom, three points is vital in every game and that's what's at stake. 

"We know how many points we have to get from now until the end of the season."

Jim Bentley: "We've got a few coming back which is a positive. Barry Roche has done a bit on Tuesday as well as James Sinclair. We have to be cautious with them as they've been out of football for a long time.

"There's full trust and the lads are all chomping at the bit. There's full trust and they're all looking forward to the weekend."

Coverage

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 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.


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