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"The third round is where we want to be" says Askey

28 November 2019

Port Vale travel to Cheltenham Town on Saturday afternoon in the Emirates FA Cup and Vale manager John Askey highlighted the importance of progressing through to the third round.

The Vale haven't reached the third round of the competition since the 2016/17 campaign, yet following an impressive victory over MK Dons in the first round, Askey says there is no reason why his side can’t go through.

Cheltenham currently sit in the play-off places in League Two but have not won at home for over a month, and the Vale boss admits that it will be a tough game, but his side have a chance against anyone.

Last time the two sides met in February this year, the Vale fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Cheltenham, and Askey has described that match as a turning point in their season as they managed to stay up following a change of system, and the Vale manager believes this weekend is a perfect opportunity to show how far his side have come since last campaign.

“It’s a massive competition [FA Cup] history wise, and it creates a lot of interest, if we can get a win on Saturday then the third round is where you want to be, for ourselves, the players, supporters, we want to be in the third round.

“They’re a strong team, Cheltenham, well organised and difficult to play at home, but as we say every week, whoever we play then we’ve got a chance, if we can play anything like, then there’s no reason we can’t go through.

“It was a big turning point because we were poor on the day and we had to look at it and then we went to Notts County, we changed the system and moved on, yeah it was a big turning point for the club. Up to that point, it looked as though we were going to slide into the National Conference so hopefully this time we will go there and we're better prepared."

Following his red card after the match against Scunthorpe last weekend, and the club's appeal to have it overturned being denied, David Worrall will be suspended for four games and Askey admits it will be a big loss to the side.

The Vale boss explained that the midfielder is currently enjoying his best spell in a Vale shirt, yet he says that he has got options to fill in that role on the left-hand side.

Luke Joyce will also be serving a one-match suspension following his fifth booking of the season, but Askey once again stressed that he has replacements in that area.

“Previously when people have come in, they’ve done well so hopefully whoever get’s the chance, that will happen in David’s position.

“As we all know, he’s probably been playing as well as his throughout his career at Vale, not only has he’s been working hard for the team, he’s started to score and make gaols as well, so out of all of the players, he’s the one he doesn’t want to be losing.

“The thing is with the squad, we’ve got players who can play in wide positions, we’ve got Rhys [Browne], Ryan [Lloyd] and Richie Bennett can play wide left, so we have got other options but it’s a shame that it’s happened.

“Tom Conlon is obviously back now, Will Atkinson and Callum [Evans] can play in that position as well but Joycey [Luke Joyce] has been playing well and he is someone we could have done without losing."


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