Port Vale head to Fleetwood in the Carabao Cup tonight defending their longest unbeaten run for 19 years.
The Vale’s 2-0 win at home to Crawley on Saturday means they haven’t lost for 11 games, a run that stretches back to January 25 when they were turned over 3-0 by eventual League Two champions Swindon Town at the County Ground.
Vale statistician, author and historian Phil Sherwin has revealed that is Vale’s longest unbeaten run since the 2000/01 season when they went 16 games without defeat under Brian Horton.
The Vale, who were then in League One, played some terrific football in the second half of that campaign, winning the LDV Vans Trophy at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
But they didn’t challenge for the play-offs having started the season badly in their first campaign after relegation from the Championship.
Back to 2020 and John Askey’s side are looking for a strong start in the league to pick up where they left off with that eight-game unbeaten run at the end of last season.
They have certainly started well, winning 2-1 away to Scunthorpe in the Carabao Cup, beating Tranmere on penalties in the EFL Trophy at Vale Park, then back in Burslem to see off Crawley in a league game that was a higher priority for the management than the cups.
They return to Carabao Cup action this evening as they travel to Fleetwood for the second round (7pm).
Askey played a strong team in the first round at Scunthorpe before making nine changes for the Trophy game.
If he makes changes this evening, with Saturday’s league fixture at Exeter in mind, he certainly has options.
Dino Visser, Shaun Brisley, Danny Whitehead, Cristian Montano, Theo Robinson, Manny Oyeleke and Adam Crookes were all on the bench on Saturday. Meanwhile James Gibbons and David Amoo are close to returning from knee and thigh injuries respectively while Tom Pope has a further three games to serve of his six-match ban.
New signing Harry McKirdy watched from the stands but assistant manager Dave Kevan said that is just while his fitness is assessed because he didn’t play in pre-season.
The 23 year old forward isn’t injured, just needs the sharpness that will come from regular training.
Kevan said: “We are not quite sure regarding Harry’s fitness at the moment because he has only been with us for a few days. But he will get up to speed. We just have to make sure that, when we do throw him in, he is ready and able to do himself justice.”
Whatever team the Vale field this evening, their opening three matches have suggested they have greater strength in depth than last season.
Speaking after the Crawley win, Kevan added: “We look at the players available to us and it is really healthy. We are going to need that. It is a long season, there are going to be ups and downs along the way and this is just the start. We have to make sure we can try to build on this and push on.”
Like Vale, League One Fleetwood have started the season well. Joey Barton’s team won 3-2 at home to Wigan to reach the Carabao Cup second round, then opened their league season with a 2-1 victory at home to Burton on Saturday.
Donnez votre point de vue et aboonez-vous!
Votre point de vue compte, donnez votre avis
[maxbutton id= »1″]