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Competition for places continues to please John Askey

19 November 2019

John Askey admitted that the hardest part of his job at the moment is only being able to select 11 players for each game, but confessed it’s a “nice position to be in”.

22 different players have started Vale’s last two games against the Newcastle United Under 21’s and Carlisle United, and both games ended with wins for the Valiants, making Askey’s job of picking the best 11 a challenging one.

The gaffer has named an unchanged starting line-up for his last two league games but expressed the importance of competition, with the likes of Mark Cullen staking his claim with good performances, as the forward scored twice against Newcastle and then grabbed the winner off the bench against Carlisle on Saturday.

One player who has cemented their spot in the team so far this season has been David Worrall, and Askey heaped praise on the man who has scored in each of his last two games for his non-stop hard working attitude on the pitch.

Worrall was forced off with injury against Carlisle but the boss stated that he had been able to train this week and there is hope he will be fit for this weekend’s trip to Scunthorpe United.

He said: “Yeah [leaving players out is the hardest part at the moment], but it’s harder when you’ve got a team that’s swapping and changing and not getting results, that’s the hardest part… the team at the moment has been doing well so it’s a nice position to be in.

“I think they [the players] know that if they do get a chance and they do well then they’ll stay in the team, especially if the team’s winning… any player who isn’t playing is not going to be happy but I think they realise that when the team’s winning then there’s very little I can do.

“With him [Worrall] now coming up with the odd goal, every game you know what you’re going to get, even if he’s not playing at his best he’s still going to stop the opposition from playing, he’s still going to cause them problems, so his work ethic is fantastic.

“He’s [Worrall] training, he didn’t train yesterday but he’s training today, so we’ll be sensible with David but if it is that he isn’t fit then we’ve got people that can come in.”

Worrall scored the first goal in Vale’s 2-1 win at the weekend and the gaffer emphasised how key it is for the team to keep the winning mentality they have built up and use their momentum to keep winning games.

Vale have now won four games in a row, advancing to the next round of the Leasing.com trophy and FA Cup in the process, and the boss believes the confidence and positivity amongst the squad is central to their success.

With the Valiants sat just two points off the Play-Offs and five points from the top of the table, focus is on Saturday’s match against Scunthorpe United, where the Vale will hope to secure their fourth successive away win.

He said: “There’s obviously a good mood in the camp and they’re enjoying coming in and enjoying each other’s company, so it’s nice to come in each morning at the moment.

“For myself and the players, you’re just trying to win every game, that’s the mentality that we’ve had from the start and obviously see where it takes us, and any competition that you enter then you want to win it.

“They [Scunthorpe] were expected to be up the top, if you look at the players they’ve got, the money that they’ve spent they should be, their results have picked up lately and I’m sure they won’t be in the bottom half come the end of the season but our players go into the game confident.”


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