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Squad depth continues to please John Askey

6 September 2019

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Newport County clash, manager John Askey said just how happy he is with his current squad and that he no longer has to “worry” about players with the talent at his disposal.

Tuesday’s Leasing.com fixture against Shrewsbury Town allowed for the manager to experiment with some of his starting 11, and Askey said how it was important that some new faces were given a chance to get up to match fitness and others were able to get a rest with such success.   

With back-to-back wins under Vale’s belt the gaffer made it clear that they need to keep focused and not get carried away however, as shown away at Grimsby, but sees no reason that the team can’t have high expectations for the season.  

Tuesday’s win did not just boost the players’ confidence but also the confidence of the boss who says he is now comfortable with playing every player in the squad, a happy change from last season.

The gaffer had said how key it was that backup and competition was brought in for every position and now he has that, with the striking spot a key area of improvement as the number of goals scored needed to be increased for Askey.  

He said: “The main thing with Tuesday was to try and get people up to speed, the ones who’ve not been playing and it was a good game to do that and to be able rest some of the ones who’ve played nearly every game, so it worked out well.   

“I felt last year that there was players that I wouldn’t use, where I think with the squad now there’s not one I’d worry about having to play.

“The main aim is to try and achieve something, to win something, you go out at the start of the season thinking why can’t we get promoted, why can’t we finish top, that’s the attitude that you’ve got to have .”

Having already achieved a home win and home clean-sheet, the gaffer spoke about how the next aim is to gain those in away fixtures, especially the clean-sheet as every point picked up away from home is crucial.

The defence has been an area that has really pleased Askey, with the Valiants limiting their opponents to very few attempts on goal in their last number of matches, a positive change from the last campaign.

The next chance to get that clean-sheet is tomorrows away trip to Newport County, a side that are one of the best in the league, but with their squad currently limited, Askey believes it’s the prime to take them on.  

He said: “You always say if you get a clean-sheet you’ve got at least a point so it’s important we get a lot of clean-sheets over the season to pick up those vital points that we’ll need.

“The last couple of games really Scott’s [Brown] not had a great deal to do, that wasn’t the case last season, every game he was keeping us in the matches, so if that continues we’ll be in a good position.

“The main thing for us is we’ve got more or less a full squad to pick from, where I don’t think that’s the case for Newport, obviously Newport are strong, probably one of the strongest teams in the league, but they’ve got one out on international duty and two or three injuries so it might be a decent time to play them.”


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