Neil Aspin assesses growing injury crisis ahead of Port Vale’s trip to Oldham Athletic

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Port Vale manager Neil Aspin has spoken about the team selection crisis he faces before his side head to Boundary Park to face Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

The injury list includes the likes of Tom Pope, Emmanuel Oyeleke and Scott Quigley whilst Ricky Miller will miss the game through suspension.

However, positive news for the Valiant boss comes in the form of full-back James Gibbons making his return to the side on Tuesday after recovering from a hip injury.

“From the squad that we could pick on the previous Saturday I think we have got James Gibbons whom played half a game the other day,” said Aspin.

“I think he felt alright to play longer but as a precaution we took him off at half time.

“He is one person that has come out of the treatment room and at the moment he is the only one who is available from what we had from the Lincoln game.

“Apart from that we haven’t had anyone else train, so we are just going to give it as long as possible really until we name the team.”

The biggest concern for the manager will be the possible absence of captain Tom Pope who is still recovering from an ankle injury which has required a number of injections.

Said Aspin: “We can’t be relying on Tom to come back in suddenly and solve all our problems. Of course, he is someone who I have picked every game when I have been manager.

“He is somebody that I want on the pitch, but you have got to be fair to Tom. It would be wrong to be using him if he can’t be doing himself justice as well.

“It would be wrong to give supporters false hope. If he can play it will be a plus for us, but you would have to say at the moment the chances are against him.

“Scott Quigley is still not fit, Ricky Miller is now suspended so now we really do not have an out and out centre forward so it is difficult, but it cannot effect our judgment in playing Tom.

“We have just got to bite the bullet if he is not fit.

“You could say that we have been unfortunate in that department and certainly we are not picking from strength in the striking options.

“That is why sometimes you cannot play the formations you want to play because of the personnel and we are looking at all options and all possibilities for Saturday.”

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