Vale start their final five games of the 2022/23 campaign with a trip to Lincolnshire as we face Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on Saturday afternoon.
This weekend’s hosts are unbeaten in their last three matches, with their last two ending in 2-0 victories.
In their last match, Lincoln became only the second side to beat Plymouth Argyle at Home Park this season, and we all know the other team to achieve that feat were the Valiants.
On Easter Monday, the Valiants played out a stalemate with Oxford United, despite an encouraging performance from Darrell Clarke’s side.
The result left Vale 17th in League One on 46 points, as they look to reach the all-important 50-point mark before the end of the season.
Before we face off with the Lincolnshire side on Saturday afternoon, here is what you need to know about the Imps.
ONE TO WATCH: Regan Poole
The Imps’ standout performance this campaign has been Regan Poole, who has impressed from the righthand side of defence.
Poole started his professional career in South Wales with Newport County before being picked up by Manchester United at 17 years old.
The 24-year-old spent four years at the Red Devils, making one appearance, against Midtjylland in a Europe League round of 32 fixture in 2015/16.
Within those four years, Poole was sent on loan to Northampton Town, and his former side Newport.
Poole left United permanently in 2019, switching Manchester for Milton Keynes when he signed for MK Dons.
The young Welshman made over 50 appearances for the Buckinghamshire side before moving to Lincoln in January 2021.
Since his move to Lincolnshire, Poole has been a mainstay in the starting 11, making 125 appearances for the Imps so far, netting four goals, and providing six assists in the process.
THE MAN AT THE HELM: Mark Kennedy
The Imps boss, Mark Kennedy, is enjoying a strong first season at Lincoln City after joining as the main man back in May of this year.
Kennedy enjoyed a player career at the highest level before he ventured into coaching, playing for the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Crystal Palace, amongst many other top teams.
The 46-year-old was a versatile player and could play both left wings, and left back during his career, employing those positions a total of 34 times for his country, the Republic of Ireland.
After a brilliant career in the sport, the Irishman went into a coaching role in 2012, starting off in the Ipswich Town academy.
Academy roles at Manchester City and Wolves then followed, before he was appointed at Macclesfield Town in January 2020, his first senior managerial role.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, Kennedy only took charge of 12 games during his time at the Silkmen and departed the club in August 2020.
After returning to academy coaching following his short spell at Macclesfield, Kennedy return to senior football as assistant to Lee Bowyer at Birmingham City in 2021.
The former winger spent one year in Birmingham before leaving for his current job in May 2022 signing a four-year deal at the Imps.
So far, Kennedy is proving a success in Lincolnshire, with the club currently sitting in 13th position on 52 points, and he will be hoping his side can finish the season strongly.
STADIUM: LNER Stadium
The LNER Stadium, also known as Sincil Bank Stadium, has been the home of the Imps since it opened in 1895.
Lincoln’s ground currently holds a maximum capacity of 10,780 and has been the host of some youth international matches over the years.
In 1982, the ground had to be sold in order to stop an eviction, but 18 years later the club re-purchased the stadium for less than they had sold it for, a huge moment for the club.
HEAD-TO-HEAD LAST FIVE:
Vale wins: 2
Lincoln City wins: 2
The two sides can’t be split when it comes to our last five meetings, with both sides coming out on top twice.
However, the last time the sides met, the Valiants came out on top, with Dan Butterworth netting the all-important goal to seal a 1-0 victory at Vale Park in October.