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Dave Kevan excited by Mitch Clark return

31 January 2020

Mitch Clark spent last season on loan at Vale Park and yesterday re-joined the Valiants on loan until the end of the season from Leicester City, and Dave Kevan expressed his joy with the move.

The assistant manager highlighted how Clark will help the team, labelling him a great player who is very versatile, being able to play either full-back or centre-back.

Kevan added how Clark’s recent past at the club will allow for him to easily settle back into the squad, as he already knows the place and many of the players, before refusing to rule out any further transfers for the Vale before the window shuts.

Two players who are set to return to action soon are Manny Oyeleke and Adam Crookes, with the pair set to feel like new signings after long spells on the sidelines, and Kevan is looking forward to having them back in action.

It was revealed by Kevan that Oyeleke could be in contention to get some game time this coming Tuesday as the Vale reserves travel to the Peterborough United reserves, whilst also stating how key Oyeleke can be to the team’s Play-Off push.   

He said: “It’s nice to have Mitch [Clark] back amongst us… it gives us some good healthy competition in full-back areas, and we need that… he gives us pace and obviously we know the character of the boy as well.

“I think he felt like he was back at home when he walked in yesterday, but saying that, he did realise a big difference around the football club as we’re all aware of.

“I know the gaffer’s been working really hard to add to us, it’s not always straight forward, but I’m sure that will continue throughout the day.

“That’ll [Oyeleke and Crookes returning] be like two new signings in itself, it’ll be very very pleasing to have them both back, they’re both very important to us and they’ve been sorely missed.

“We’re hoping that he [Oyeleke] can just provide that extra quality, we know what he can bring to us and it’ll just be fantastic to have him available to us again.”

Kevan also emphasised how Tuesday’s win over Exeter City once again reinforced the feeling that the Vale can take a game to any side in the league and come away with the win, no matter how well the opposition are doing at the time.

Richie Bennett was picked out by Kevan for his impressive display against the Grecians, with the assistant gaffer praising Bennett for how much he adds to the team when on the pitch and hopes he can keep his goal scoring form going.  

The next chance for Bennett to get on the scoresheet is when Salford City are welcomed to Vale Park tomorrow for a game that Kevan believes will be a real challenge, but admitted the whole side are eager to take them on.

He said: “We’ve shown all season that we’re capable [of beating anyone], a little bit more consistency would be nice, everyone’s looking for that but on our day we can give anyone a game.

“We’re all delighted for Richie [Bennett], he’d been out the team for a while and he was ready to come back in and make an impact and thankfully he’s done that so hopefully he can build on that, there’s more to Richie’s game than just goals, goals are obviously important to any striker but Richie puts a lot of work in, he can bring people into the game, he closes down well from the front, so he’s a good option for us.  

“[It’ll be] very tough, they’re [Salford] obviously strengthening every day, no doubt they’ll be looking to do some more business today I would’ve thought, so we’re not quite sure what sort of team we’ll be up against but we know it’ll be another tough test for us and one that we’re looking forward to.”


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