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James Rowberry expects a "tough game" against Port Vale

10 December 2021

Newport County manager James Rowberry is expecting a hard encounter when promotion-chasing Port Vale come to Wales on Saturday.

The Valiants currently occupy 3rd in League Two and have won three of their last five in all competitions, with their most recent result being a 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night and are 4th in the away table.

"I'm expecting a tough game, they've got a decent away record but our home form is equally as good," Rowberry said.

"They defend particularly well, they've conceded the fourth-lowest shots in the league and we're probably one of the highest at the minute with ours.

"It could be an interesting affair in how we work tactically really to try and first of all deny and then try and exploit."

There are no fresh injury concerns for the County gaffer, just "tired legs and tired bodies" after a tough game on Tuesday, but Dom Telford is available for selection again after missing the 3-2 win over Sutton on due to COVID protocols.

It gives Rowberry a positive selection headache ahead of the weekend, as Lewis Collins, who came in for the League Two top scorer on Saturday, scored an impressive goal and made a mark on his manager.

"He's run 13.8k in a game and I've never seen that in all my time at Cardiff and all my time since I've been here," Rowberry said of the Academy graduate.

"Anyone can plod 13.8k but he's run over 1500m of high-speed sprints. That's his first game in a long time so we have to be wary of that because that load can increase. He's extremely well-strung so I'm pleased for him, I love his enthusiasm."

Telford meanwhile has scored 13 goals in 12 games in the league so far this season and on Friday morning was named as the EFL League Two Player of the Month for November, the second month in a row he's won it. That will not guarentee him a place in the side tomorrow, however.

"What will always be the case here is that it's a squad effort, a collective. I singled out Lewis for his performance because I think he deserved it but it's always a collective and it will always be about the squad," Rowberry continued.

"I don't think anybody is guaranteed a starting place, it's always on performance and the lads know that. I'm just keen to keep emphasising it's a squad, it's a collective effort, whether it's the 1-18 or the 18-24, the ones that aren't involved, everybody is very much part of it.

"I'm pleased for Dom [on winning Player of the Month], he deserves it so long may that continue for him and the team."

 


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