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Dave Kevan confident for Colchester clash despite stretched squad

14 February 2020

Assistant manager Dave Kevan emphasised how positive the whole team are feeling after they secured back-to-back away wins with their victory over Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night.

The Vale made it four games unbeaten this week and Kevan highlighted how the players are in high spirits due to their recent form, as they look to secure another win tomorrow as they continue to chase a Play-Off finish.

Kevan echoed an argument that has been made by players and staff all season, that the Vale can beat any side in the league home or away on their day, adding how their results this season have proven just that.

With Tom Pope, James Gibbons and Mitch Clark all missing the game with suspension however Kevan stated how the squad depth will be called into action but reinforced the faith he has in every player in the squad to perform when called upon.

The assistant gaffer also admitted how he knows Colchester will pose a tough challenge with their strong attacking threat, explaining how they will need to perform at the top of their game to secure all three points, but believes that’s exactly what they will do.

He said: “The lads are obviously delighted with their recent form and two really really positive results away from home, so they’ve got every right to be in good spirits.

“I think there’s a belief amongst the group that they can go to anywhere, whether it be home or away and we’re capable of getting a result and thankfully we’ve shown that.

“Obviously we’re stretched in terms of what we can select, but as we’ve shown throughout the season, whether it be through injury or suspension, the lads that’ve come in have all come in and done well and I’m sure that’ll be the case again tomorrow.

“Colchester are a very good side, they’ve got some dangerous players, they’ve got a way of playing, we’ve got to be at our best tomorrow as we always have to, we’ve got to be right on it and I’m sure that’ll be the case tomorrow.”

One of the missing men, Mitch Clark was praised by Kevan for the massive impact he’s instantly had on the team since joining back on loan from Leicester City, adding how he’s settled right back into the squad.

Kevan discussed how another defender, Nathan Smith is chomping at the bit to get back in the starting 11, but expressed how Smith knows just how well Brisley has been performing in his absence.

Kevan also highlighted just how great it has been to see Manny Oyeleke back in action, but made it clear how they have got to be careful in easing him back into the team after his injury, as it provides a big boost to the side to have him back on the pitch.

He said: “Mitch [Clark] has just come in and made an impact straight away, which was what we were hoping for, that it didn’t take him time to settle in and find his feet, he’s just properly hit the ground running and he will be missed tomorrow but we’re delighted with how he’s come in and made such a big impact.

“He’s [Smith] getting very fidgety and becoming a bit of nuisance but no I think he realises that Shaun’s [Brisley] come in and took his opportunity and has done very well.  

“It was really pleasing to see Manny out on the pitch and I think it’s given all the boys a lift and I’m sure the supporters were absolutely delighted to see him back out there, so we’ve just got to take it easy with Manny, he needs to get that fitness and be able to get 90 minutes.”


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