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Skubala: “We know they’re not on the best of runs, but we weren’t on the best run not so long ago.”

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Ahead of the trip to Port Vale, Michael Skubala tidied up the situation with regard to the players who have been carrying injuries recently.

NEW QUIZ: How much can you remember from the last time The Imps took on Port Vale at Vale Park? Have a go at the quiz at the bottom of the page or simply CLICK HERE (opens in a new window)!

You can discuss what Michael Skubala has said ahead of this match here, and get involved with our pre-match discussion!

Player Roll Call: Reeco Hackett-Fairchild is very ‘close’ and will take some part in the Port Vale game. Freddie Draper continues with his recovery but will be out for approximately a fortnight. Adam Jackson does have a mask fitted and is training but this weekend is probably too soon. Doubts remain about Ethan Hamilton who has seen a flare-up of his previous injury. It could be something or nothing, a specialist will be consulted for their input.

MS spoke highly of the great Imps medical team. There is a lot of input before the players return to training which follows on with careful management of minutes when they return to the squad, be it a one-game week or a three-game week. It may be a case of ‘bits and pieces’ with a few minutes here and a few minutes there.

“Every player wants to come back and play ninety straight, but we know that’s not necessarily the best for the medium to long term”

MS receives all the information and advice about where an individual is at any given time but it remains the ultimate responsibility of the head coach about the key decisions regarding keeping a player on or taking them off the pitch to achieve a win or result. Whilst fully educated and informed at all times the head coach needs to get the decision right for the team and the individual.

Upturn in Form: Results most definitely help with belief and confidence.

“Experience tells me football can change really quickly, whether that’s injuries, whether that’s performances, whether that’s results. You just have to trust your own processes that we do as coaching staff and a club. Then hopefully we can keep picking up points”

One thing that is really helping is the return to availability of a number of players. The competition that comes with making it harder to get back into the squad is the beauty the Imps have had for the last couple of weeks.

Port Vale: “We know they’re not on the best of runs, but we weren’t on the best run not so long ago. I think there’s definitely a manager bounce with the new manager coming in”.

The Valiants have utilised two different systems in recent games – a back three seen against Cheltenham and a back four versus Reading. MS was able to personally take in the Reading game, noting that Port Vale pressed well aggressively. The size of the pitch will be a tough feature.

“When we focus as a group of players and a group of staff on what we do; I think that’s the most important thing rather than worrying about other people and what they’re doing”.

Writer: hulloutpost

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