Date: 4th December 2015 at 3:34pm
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Which when he (JJ Hooper) Rob Page has said it’s down to him to take this!

Hooper got on against Rochdale last weekend and Page has said the summer signing from Havant & Waterlooville, who could have left on loan recently, will get other chances but the form of those ahead will make it difficult.

Louis Dodds is being used in the no.10 role so this means Hooper’s battling with Ajay Leitch-Smith, with his form seeing him as one of the top performers in League 1, and Watford loanee Uche Ikpeazu – but his loan is due to expire in the New Year, unless it’s extended – for just one place!

Page, as far as accommodating him in the side, told the Sentinel.

‘Ajay, JJ and Uche are more of a number nine. They like to play off the shoulder of the centre-halves, so it is getting that blend right.’

The Vale boss admitted he considered loaning out Hooper when a late move was made for him before the emergency loan window closes last week but feels this decision to retain him was the right one.

Adding, from that appearance from the bench against Rochdale in the two-one defeat saw him show glimpses of what he can do.

‘We made the decision to keep him and I think he showed glimpses again on Saturday of getting into good areas.

‘Sam Kelly whipped a great ball in on Saturday and he was a yard off-side, but there is a bright future for him.

‘Ajay is on good form, so he is not going to play in front of him at the moment. But when JJ is given his chance, like everybody, it is over to him.’

His next chance could well come in the FA Cup at the weekend against Exeter at St James Park in the second round on Sunday.


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