Port Vale assistant boss Michael Brown wary of a returning Rob Page against Northampton Town

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Port Vale assistant manager Michael Brown said he is wary that Northampton Town will be clued up on his side when they meet at Vale Park on Saturday (December 10).

Northampton boss Rob Page ended a two-year spell as manager of the Valiants back in May to join the Cobblers.

Although the visitors have lost their last four League One games and sit in 17th place in the table three points behind Vale, Brown believes that Page will ensure his players are fully prepared.

Brown said: “The staff and people I know there will certainly be looking forward to this trip.

“I think they will certainly know everything about what is going on here.

“They watch us, they speak to people here. They know exactly where we are at and where our strengths and weaknesses are.

“No doubt about it – we’ll have to be ready for the challenge ahead.”

Brown, 39, said he believes Page deserves a good reception from the fans.

On how Page will set up, Brown said: “He’ll obviously err on the side of caution. He’ll want to be hard to beat first and foremost.

“But Robbo always plays to win. He certainly won’t play to draw so hopefully it will be a fantastic game.

“I think it’s very important that his service is acknowledged.

“He’s somebody that has worked very hard for the club. Sometimes that gets forgotten a little bit, so hopefully he gets a good round of applause from our fans.”

Brown revealed that Vale go into the game looking to improve their performances and results after winning just two of their last 10 in the league.

“We keep saying every week we’ve got to improve,” he added.

“I think against Hartlepool we were very poor last week, so maybe we shouldn’t get too carried away by the 4-0 scoreline.

“The league’s extremely tight. There are only a couple of teams who could run away with it. The rest of us have our highs and lows.

“We are still trying to get that consistency. But we have to improve performances, which will put the points on the board.”

Bruno Ribeiro’s men will be without winger Jerome Thomas, who is absent after his partner gave birth to their child earlier this week.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

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