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Askey delighted with Mitch Clark's performance on his return to the club

2 February 2020

An illness kept Cristian Montano out of the side yesterday afternoon which meant Clark replaced him in the starting line-up to make his second debut for the club, and the gaffer was left impressed with his performance.

The versatile defender spent the 2018-19 season on loan at Vale Park from Leicester City, and Askey insists that Clark adds quality to the side as he proved yesterday and was awarded the man of the match award following his solid display.

Clark also showcased his attacking prowess and was at the heart of the Valiants’ opener when his powerful cross from the left was diverted past Kyle Letheren by Ammie’s defender, Cameron Burgess, and the gaffer described his overall performance as ‘excellent’.

Fellow young full-back, James Gibbons, also received praise from his manager and Askey emphasised how the younger players in the squad are going to keep improving with the more games they play.

“I thought he [Mitch Clark] was excellent. He didn’t know yesterday that he was going to play, but he’s come in, we know he’s got quality, that’s why we’ve got him in.

“I thought both full-backs did really well, along with quite a few others who have performed well, but he’s slotted in, he knows all the players and that’s why we got him in.

“They’re always going to improve the more games they have, and they give you that energy as well, energy and hunger, then with lads who are a little bit older around them, they help them and we’ve got a good mix at the moment so hopefully we can continue getting decent results."

Salford are another team that are pushing the play-off places this season and sit just five points below the Valiants after yesterday’s draw, and the Vale boss was left pleased that his side matched the in-form Ammies’ side.

Askey praised the effort put in from his players and admits that if they can continue to do that for the remainder of the season, they won’t be far away from the top-seven.

However, the gaffer stressed that he wanted more the match having taken the lead, but it keeps his side moving and will travel to Northampton with confidence.

"It keeps us moving forward, we’re still only three points off the play-off positions and obviously we’re looking to always improve but it was always going to be tough, they’re a strong team who are improving all the time.

“With the players that they’ve brought in, for us to compete with them, more than compete, I thought we were as good, if not better than them today especially in the first-half.

“Really pleased with the players again, with the effort, if they keep doing that every week we won’t be far away."

 


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