Vale seek to continue their impressive early season form when promotion contenders Rotherham United travel to the Potteries. The Valiants will be full of confidence following Tuesday`s 2-0 win over League One pacesetters Tranmere Rovers in the JPT. Micky Adams` side have displayed an attractive brand of attacking football in the early stages of the season, but will face a stiff test against the Millers, who themselves have started the campaign well.
It has been a summer of change in South Yorkshire, with the unpopular Steve Evans now briefed with the task of gaining promotion. A move into a new stadium and a couple of bumper early attendances have left United supporters in buoyant mood. With the weather set fair, the prospect of a decent away following will no doubt boost the mood of administrator Bob Young and his cohorts as they seek to maximise Vale`s income while the club continues to find a buyer. For the first time, at least publically, Young has all but confirmed that Keith Ryder`s proposed takeover is dead, not that this was any news to Vale supporters. However, it only serves to deepen the mystery of why Ryder has seemingly disappeared. At least fans have some football to occupy their minds in the meantime and Saturday`s game should provide a better indicator of Vale`s prospects this year.
Evans has added some quality as well as experience to his squad with the likes of full back Nicky Hunt. Strikers Daniel Nardiello and Kayode Odejayi will prove a handful at this level, while one time Vale target Lionel Ainsworth and rugged defender Ian Sharps have both been shrewd acquisitions from Shrewsbury Town. The Millers currently sit in 5th place in League Two following last week`s 4-0 thrashing of Yorkshire rivals Bradford City.
Millers boss Steve Evans told BBC Radio Sheffield: ‘Everyone knows we should have beaten Northampton but we took it on the chin and I think we should have won at Chesterfield too.
‘Off the pitch it’s carnage at Port Vale and I feel sorry for Micky Adams.
‘They’ve got a good team though and I think Ashley Vincent and Tom Pope are excellent strikers and they’re a handful for any defence.
‘If we win on Saturday then we’ll be averaging two points a game and if you do that all season then you end up being champions.’
Micky Adams told The Sentinel
“It’s rosy for the first 11 and not so good for the ones on the fringes, but they have shown a fantastic attitude.
“It’s important they keep themselves right because at any given moment they could be thrown into the fray.
“From a manager’s perspective, it’s important not just the first 11 are focused. It’s about the squad, and at the moment we’ve got a good squad.”
Port Vale Team News:
Adams will no doubt keep faith with the side that has performed admirably over recent weeks, so the likes of Rob Taylor, Ben Williamson and Ryan Burge will need to remain patient for a first team opportunity.
Probable side: Neal, Duffy, McCombe, McDonald, Loft, Myrie-Williams, Morsy, Shuker, Vincent, Dodds, Pope.
Player to watch: Ashley Vincent
The former Colchester winger has impressed during the early weeks of the season, though a combination of bad luck and poor finishing have prevented him from opening his account. The feeling remains that his first goal is just around the corner, however.
Rotherham United Team News:
Rotherham will be without Kari Arnason who is away on International duty with Iceland. Midfielder Mark Bradley is missing through injury, although Evans has the option of starting new signing Chris Morgan, while Dale Tonge and Nicky Hunt are also available.
Possible Team: Shearer, Hunt, Wilson, Sharps, Taylor, O`Connor, Evans, Pringle, Noble, Odejayi, Nardiello
Player to watch: Daniel Nardiello
The former Manchester United trainee has enjoyed somewhat of a nomadic existence during a career totalling ten clubs. Nardiello had a successful spell at Barnsley helping the club gain promotion from League One. Subsequent spells at QPR and Blackpool were less productive. Rotherham signed the striker from Exeter City for whom Nardiello scored 19 times during the last two seasons.
Match Facts & Stats
Last five games:
Vale 2-0 Tranmere Rovers (JPT)
Vale 1-1 Torquay United
Morecambe 1-3 Vale
Accrington 2-0 Vale
Vale 3-0 Barnet
Rotherham 0-1 York City (JPT)
Rotherham 4-0 Bradford City
Chesterfield 1-1 Rotherham
Northampton Town 2-1 Rotherham
Rotherham 3-0 Burton Albion
Grant Taylor and Ian Dudley
Fourth Official Ian Hussin
Goals from Ashley Vincent and Millers old boy Tom Pope give Vale a 2-1 win.
Plymouth Argyle (a) 15/09/2012 3pm