Hartlepool Utd are the visitors to Vale Park in a match that a lot of Vale fans are viewing as a ‘must win game’.
Nonsense of course. After just two league games we are nowhere near the calamity that some are eagerly predicting. We do however need to put in a good performance. Good, fluent attacking football was on display during the pre-season, but abruptly disappeared once the meaningful business began two weeks ago.
One point from two games isn’t a great start, but nor is it the end of the world.
Some imagination and creativity is needed from the midfield, coupled with a bit of backbone in defence. If we can sort that out we’re laughing.
Confidence seems to be an issue at the moment, a situation that can be quickly rectified with three points.
Martin Foyle says…
Foyle has been talking to The Sentinel this week about Vale’s less than glorious start to the campaign and the reaction from The Vale faithful:
‘I can understand people’s frustrations. Our supporters travelled a long way down to Yeovil and our first half display wasn’t good enough.’
‘We do need to get something against Hartlepool on Saturday. If we do get the win then we will be off and running.’
‘I don’t listen to the radio anymore, and I certainly don’t read anything on the internet.’
Port Vale Team News:
Winger Paul Edwards is hoping to make his first start of the season for Vale. Edwards has suffered with an ankle injury, but has declared himself fit for this game.
The 27-year-old ex Oldham player has played down Vale’s disappointing start, stating to The Sentinel, ‘When I was at Oldham last year we only won one of our first seven… then finished the season in sixth and in the play-offs.’
More good news for Vale is keeper Mark Goodlad’s performance in the reserve match agsinst Oldham on Monday night. Goodlad has been out of action since December, but played the full 90 minutes. Joe Anyon will however remain first choice whilst Goodlad gains match fitness.
With Edwards fit and available Foyle must look to put out an attacking midfield, with Danny Whitaker in centre midfield partnering either Hulbert and Rocastle and Tudor and Edwards out on the flanks.
Vital Vale line-up: Anyon, McGregor, Lowe, Pilkington, Talbot, Tudor, Hulbert, Whitaker, Edwards, Sodje, Rodgers.
Player to watch: Shane Tudor
Tudor is one of the few positives we have seen so far this season. The ex-Leyton Orient player is a tricky right winger who likes to attack.
Hartlepool Utd Team News:
Hartlepool fan and Editor of Vital Hartlepool Utd ‘PooliePoolie’ has this to say about Hartlepool’s early form:
‘I think we’ve made a good start to the season, we lost narrowly against Luton on the opening day, then beat Scunthorpe in The Carling Cup 2-1. We beat Doncaster last Saturday, so we’re doing ok.
Manager Danny Wilson brought in plenty of signings but I am not particularly impressed with most of them, keeper Jan Budtz is prone to making a howler at least once a match.
Our best signing was Godwin Antwi, who is on loan from Liverpool – but he picked up an injury at the weekend and will definitely miss this game.
Also missing will be Robbie Elliot, Andy Monkhouse and Ali Gibb who are all suspended.
Our most impressive players so far are Antwi and midfielder Willie Boland who has been great in midfield alongside Gary Liddle.
We’re a bit toothless up front, Wilson is playing our main striker Richie Barker alongside Ian Moore who doesn’t look like scoring at all! Most fans are wanting Moore to be dropped and replaced by fans favourite Joel Porter.
I think we’ll win, 2-0 to pools.’
Player to watch: Willie Boland
Bolland has been in great form in midfield, and given the ‘issues’ we’ve had in that area could cause us some big problems.
Port Vale 3-1 Hartlepool Utd May sound highly optimistic, but after the start we’ve had we are definitely due a good performance. Rodgers (2) and Whitaker with the goals.
Saturday 1st September Bournemouth (a) 3pm KO