Oxford v Vale Preview
Vale seek to return to winning ways and continue their excellent away record when they travel to Oxford United on Saturday. Tuesday`s loss at home to Exeter City has seen the chasing pack close in on the automatic promotion spots.
Whilst it hardly constitutes a crisis, the Valiant have stuttered somewhat over recent weeks, displaying little of the fluent, attacking football that was so evident during the first few months of the campaign. However, now is a time to grind out some valuable points. Given that, Micky Adams may opt to make several changes to his side in a bid to freshen things up. The Vale boss certainly has the tools at his disposal to do just that, whether it be a change of formation, or just personnel.
One man who is struggling to make the game is full back Daniel Jones. The former Sheffield Wednesday defender has missed training owing to a stomach bug. Adam Yates is on standby to fill in. Meanwhile, Louis Dodds, Lee Hughes, Sam Morsy and Liam Chilvers are among those hoping for a recall to the starting eleven. Ashley Vincent may be one of those who is forced to make way after struggling badly for form over recent months.
Chris Wilder`s men still hold out hope of mounting a late run for the play-off spots and currently sit comfortably in mid table, 9 points behind the top seven. The Vale will be reacquainted with former winger Sean Rigg who left Vale Park in the summer to sign for the U`s.
With a hectic programme of fixtures over the next month, where Vale have to play many of the chasing pack, a couple of quick victories could do much to settle nerves, among both players and supporters.