James Gibbons’ fine start to the season has been praised by the Port Vale management.
The 21 year old has been ever present in the first three games and looks likely to keep his place for Saturday’s trip to Salford City.
The home-grown defender has competition for his right back place from new signing Callum Evans but assistant manager Dave Kevan says he has been impressed with the way Gibbons has performed in the opening three games.
He said: “James has started the season very well and can be very pleased with his form, as we are. He just needs to try to keep improving. If he can maintain that level then hopefully he can push on.”
Tom Pope could be recalled after he was rested for Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup first round tie at home to Burton Albion. The striker came on in the second half of the 2-1 defeat having made way for Mark Cullen in the starting line up.
Cullen scored Vale’s goal, from the penalty spot, on his full debut. Kevan said the goal and playing 78 minutes before his substitution will benefit the free transfer signing from Blackpool.
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He said: “I thought Mark battled away throughout. He got a goal which will give him a big boost as well. But it was important that Mark got some minutes on the pitch. He will be better for that.”
Vale’s other change on Tuesday was bringing in Cristian Montano for Manny Oyeleke who is expected to miss the next three to four weeks with the hamstring injury he suffered in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Northampton.
Vale will be backed by 1,400 supporters at Salford after selling their allocation just a day after they went on sale. The supporters’ club plan to distribute black and gold cards to the travelling fans to hold up at kick off as a celebration of the new ownership.
Fans held a black and gold campaign against Norman Smurthwaite before he sold the club to Carol and Kevin Shanahan in May.
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