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Match Previews

Match Preview | Derby County vs Port Vale

1 March 2024

Match Previews

Match Preview | Derby County vs Port Vale

1 March 2024

The Vale will be backed by over 1,800 travelling Valiants on Saturday when we make the trip to Derby County.

The Valiants come into the game off the back of a 2-2 draw against Fleetwood Town in midweek. Jensen Weir and Ethan Chislett found the net in the first half to give Vale a 2-0 lead at the break before the visitors salvaged a point with two late goals in the second half.

Gaffer's Thoughts:

Here’s what Darren Moore had to say ahead of Saturday’s visit to Pride Park:

“It’s a fantastic arena to play in. It’s an arena to go and play your no football in so that’s something there. It’ll be a big crowd so as footballers that’s what you want to do, is play in arenas like that. I know Paul (Warne) really well. He’s leading a promotion push there and there remit there is to get promotion this season, so it’s a great game for us to go and play.”

“It’s a game that we have to be at our best and when I talk about the perfect performance need from the players, certainly that’ll be an arena where the players have to aspire to be able to perform at the highest level of intensity in terms of togetherness, a willingness, a drive, a unity about the team in order to come away from there with a result for Port Vale”

The Opposition

Derby County sit in 2nd place in Skybet League One, seven points below Portsmouth who are in first place.

The Rams come into the game off the back of a midweek defeat against Charlton Athletic. County took the lead in the first half through Erin Chasin before The Addicks came from behind to register their first win in sixteen games thanks to goals from Alfie May and Karoy Anderson.

Who’s in Charge?

Derby are managed by Paul Warne who took the job after leaving Rotherham United. He made a great start to life at Pride Park after joining in September 2022. By January he had his side in touching distance of the automatic promotion places.

However, they then went on a run where the won just six games in 18 matches with saw them fall out of the Play Off places and ultimately miss out on the top six by just one point.

Player to watch – Nathaniel Mendez-Laing 

Mendez-Laing has been a standout played for the Rams so far this season. He has scored eight goals and assisted fourteen goals in his 35 games so far. The 31-year-old has been vital for Derby, playing in all sides of the attacking midfield. He has started a few games up front after James Collins was ruled out with injury.

23-year-old Max Bird is also enjoying a productive season. He has scored five and assisted seven goals in 30 games in midfield. In the summer he signed for Bristol City but was loaned back to the Rams to help them push for promotion.

Fixture Throwback

Derby County 1-2 Port Vale, Saturday 9th October 2022.

County took the lead early on after James Collins crashed home a strike from the edge of the box following good work from Tom Barkhuizen. In the 13th minute the Valiants were awarded a golden chance to equalise as much to every Port Vale supporters shock, they were awarded a penalty for the first time in 73 games! Tom Conlon stepped for the Vale and dragged the penalty wide of the right post.

After a record-breaking wait for a penalty, Vale were awarded two in the same game! In the 55th minute the referee pointed to the spot again when he spotted a handball in the Derby penalty area. Ellis Harrison took responsibility and dispatched the spot kick to level the scores.

One minute later, Derby were reduced to ten men when James Collins was shown a red card for an off-the-ball incident with Nathan Smith. 

Vale took full advantage of their extra man when James Wilson hammered the Vale infront when he finished well from just inside the area with his left foot.

The Valiants stood firm and earned a valuable away win in front of over 2,500 travelling fans at Pride Park

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