Preview: Port Vale vs Scunthorpe United

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Playoff hunting Port Vale manager John Askey will be hoping their week training at the FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park, will inspire his side to victory over Scunthorpe United this weekend. 

Due to the problems with the weather in the last month, Vale have been forced to train at the purpose-built centre in Burton this week.

Despite the temporary relocation Askey has enjoyed the experience of training at the same site as Gareth Southgate’s England team. 

He said: “We wouldn’t had been able to train otherwise. I’m really pleased that we were able to go there for two days and get a little bit of quality in our systems.

“I think it did us all good. New surroundings can help and it probably did us well to get out of our local area and train at such high-quality facilities. We were so pleased to be given the opportunity to train there.”

Vale go into the match against Scunthorpe eighth in the league table and are only outside the play off places on goal difference, after going unbeaten in their last six games. 

Defender Nathan Smith said: “The last few years have not been good enough so to be up there in and around the playoffs is a special feeling because of the prize of being promoted at Wembley. 

“Everyone is putting that extra work in and you can see that in the dressing room.”

Just eleven games remain in the season and every game is as close to a must win as possible, if the Valliant’s dream of a playoff campaign.

Askey said: “We’ve consistently performed well, losing just eight games all season and just once at home.

“You’re always guarded as a manager, it’s always about the next game, so everything has been put into Saturday’s game.”

Scunthorpe on the other hand, lie 17th in the table but come into the game off the back of a 1-0 home victory over Forest Green Rovers. 

Askey made it clear that they must be on the top of their game if they are to achieve victory. 

He said: “At the start of the season you would have said that they’d be promotion favourites as they’ve spent a lot of money and have some good players. 

“They haven’t had a great season by their standards but there’s no doubt it’ll be a hard game as it always is against Scunthorpe and we know we’ve got to play really well in order to get three points.”

That win last time out was in response to their previous poor league form, where they had won just once since New Year’s Day. 

Ahead of the game Askey provided an injury update within his playing squad.

He said: “Sean is struggling he’s done his knee ligaments. He could be out for a while, which is a shame because he’s been playing really well and adds competition at centre back, so we hate to lose him.

“He’s at an age where he’s not even 30 yet, so has plenty of football left in him. There’s no reason why he couldn’t have kept his place until the end of the season. 

“But we just have to assess but I don’t think he’ll play before the end of the campaign.”

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