Port Vale will be looking to distance themselves from the relegation zone this weekend as they host promotion chasing Mansfield Town this afternoon at Vale Park.
Fixture: Port Vale vs Mansfield Town
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Date: Saturday 9th March 2019
Venue: Vale Park
Referee: Darren Bond
League Position: 22nd
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (11 goals)
Port Vale will be looking to end a run of five games without a win as Mansfield make the journey to Vale Park this afternoon. Having not won a home game since October, Vale will be determined to amend their disappointing home form.
John Askey remains without a win following his first five games in charge, but will be boosted by the fact he has a fully fit squad to choose from this afternoon. James Gibbons is set to return following a slight back injury, but will face stiff competition in Mitch Clark who put on another impressive showing against Notts County last weekend.
Leon Legge looks set to retain his place in the starting 11 following a brief spell on the sidelines and he wants to reward the home fans with a win against Mansfield. Despite the difference in league position, Legge has said he is confident of causing an upset at Vale Park.
"We have to concentrate on Saturday, hopefully get a result, then onto the Tuesday game. Our home record hasn't been the best and you want to give something back to the fans."
- Leon Legge, Defender
League Position: 3rd
Top Scorer: Tyler Walker (20 goals)
Mansfield Town will be full of confidence heading into this afternoon's clash having won their previous two league games. A battling 1-0 win with 10 men over Yeovil Town before overcoming Cheltenham Town 4-2 last weekend, have The Stags sitting pretty in the league table just three points off second place.
Matt Preston remains a doubt for this weekend's visitors having missed out on last Saturday's 4-2 win over Cheltenham. The defender was unavailable for the league clash with a knee injury and is unlikely to feature today.
Long-term absentees Bobby Olejnik and Hayden White remain unavailable, whilst The Stags will also be without Danny Rose, Tyler Walker, Craig Davies and Jordan Graham who all remain sidelined through injury.
One to watch: Jorge Grant
Grant is a 24-year-old midfielder who wears the number 23 for the Stags. His career began with Nottingham Forest where he would sign his first professional contract in 2014.
In search of first-team football, Grant has enjoyed a number of loan spells away from the club, firstly with Notts County; two loan spells in 2017 guarenteed he would amass over 50 appearances for the Magpies.
Grant signed on loan at Luton Town before he joined Mansfield in January of this year on a loan deal. He has scored four goals in nine appearances for the Stags so far this season.
John Askey: "I think for any team you want to perform at home. It's important in front of your own supporters and it hasn't been good enough at home and we're looking to rectify that now.
"You look at the games that we've played here whilst I've been in charge and we've done OK. We probably need to keep the ball better and put teams under more pressure, that then enables the crowd to get behind us."
David Flitcroft: "There are no bankers in this league, it’s so tight – there are a lot of teams trying to get in the play-offs, and there’s a dogfight down at the bottom of the league.
“They [Port Vale] have had a management change and John Askey has come in, who did a phenomenal job at Macclesfield."
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.