There is an air of optimism over Vale Park for the visit of Northampton Town tomorrow after we signed two new attacking players and kept Leon Constantine during the week.
Vale have been on another dismal run of late, losing four and drawing one of the last five games. By contrast The Cobblers, who have been hovering over the relegation positions all season, are showing some good form under new manager Stuart Gray.
Due to the weather conditions a pitch inspection took place this afternoon, and there will be a further inspection at 10am tomorrow as more rain is expected.
The new boys…
After completing a £30,000 move from Crewe Alex Striker Luke Rodgers had this to say to the official Vale site: ‘I think I can do quite well here. I just need to be playing now, getting back into the playing well, scoring goals, and if I can do that I will be quite happy here.’
‘I wish I hadn’t scored the penalty for Crewe now, but thats football isn’t it.’
Luke is, of course, referring to the 96th-minute penalty he converted against us earlier in the season to give Crewe a 2-1 victory…
Winger Malvin Kamara, free from Cardiff City, admitted – again to the official site – ‘I’ve been hearing a lot about the club in the last few weeks and the more I heard about it the more I wanted to join.’
‘I am looking forward to a fresh challenge and trying to get into the first team, and then if I do get into the team, trying to help the team to push on into the play-off places.’
‘They have got a good squad here, so I am under no illusions that I am going to come here and walk into the the team.’
Port Vale Team News:
Danny Sonner and Leon Constantine have both been in training this week (both have missed the last four games) and hopefully will both start the game. Left back Colin Miles is still struggling with injury, however, thats not really a problem for the team.
The line-up I’d like to see is: Anyon in goal, Pilkington, Walsh, Fortune, Talbot across the back, Kamara, Sonner, Gardner, Smith as the midfield with Constantine and Rodgers up front.
However, I suspect that Whitaker will be starting out right (not Kamara), and Harsley in the holding midfield role instead of Sonner.
Player to watch: Luke Rodgers
I’m expecting great things from our new striker. He was certainly a handful when he played against us earlier this season, and with Lowndes and Husbands failing to cut it we have been desperately short of attacking options.
Northampton Town Team News:
Northampton have began to put in some good displays under their new manager Stuart Gray, and will give us a good game. Strikers Scott McGleish and Andy Kirk scored in last weekends 3-2 win over Carlisle, and youngsters Luke Chambers (defender) and Mark Bunn (goalkeeper) are attracting some attention from bigger clubs.
Player to watch: Ian Taylor
The 38-year-old former Vale player is a legend here, and will be given a great reception from The Vale faithful. Taylor has admitted that he still loves The Vale, and is looking forward to the game tomorrow.
Earlier this season…
Vale took the three points from Sixfields in September with first half goals from George Pilkington and Stefan Moore (remember him?). Keeper Mark Goodlad had a fantastic match making three world class saves.
Port Vale 3-0 Northampton. Goals from Constantine and Rodgers. Happy days.
Saturday 27th Jan – Brighton (a) 3pm