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  • Without taking anything for granted, is anyone else ridiculously excited about Saturday's game? Really fancy us but I cannot see us being complacent. With Vale in dire form and without their talisman Tom Pope we are surely big favourites and go 2nd putting big pressure on our rivals

  • Yes. But I felt exactly like that before Morecambe

  • Hopefully the team won’t make the same mistake after seeing Ellison running rings round them and celebrating.

  • Bring back the lucky 1-1 score prediction!

  • We should win this - they are scrapping for survival though. Could be an ugly game with a beautiful result......

  • I’m one of those seasoned Wycombe watchers who takes nothing for granted but I think Port Vale are a very different proposition to Morecambe. Morecambe are something of a bogey team to us and they have a seasoned striker in Kevin Ellison. He appears to be injured at present but even without him Morecambe were too good for Exeter last Saturday.

    Tom Pope, Vale’s leading scorer by a country mile, is out until April following a hernia operation. The next four in their list of goalscorers have 17 between them; our next four after Akinfenwa have 33.

    Our defence has looked stronger with Sido in the middle (apart from when he indulged in some characteristically untimely fancy footwork on Wednesday) and JJ is probably playing better now than he did against Morecambe.

    If we’d played for another 20-30 minutes against Morecambe we would probably have levelled the scores.

    The only factor which might make tomorrow slightly less of a home banker would be the absence of Luke O’Nien but otherwise I reckon Vital’s 3-1 prediction is spot on.

    I expect Scott Kashket to get off the mark tomorrow.

  • I'm taking my 70 Y.O. mum to her first ever game so I'm hoping for us to do well. Obviously if we get battered it'll be her last game too!

  • The overall situation is really exciting, 8 games left, and despite that dreadful home run of 1 point in 3, we've actually somehow got a 3 point gap to the playoffs.

    We need to ensure that we put the boot into Port Vale, as knowing how this league works, our rivals won't all win, so we could easily end up in a better position than we're in now.

    Remembering the lessons of the last home games though. Not getting carried away!

  • These games are always dodgy for me. Port Vale need three or four more wins and will be a tougher test than a middle of the table side.

  • We certainly won't be doing anything the easy way, that's not our style.

    I wonder how close Saunders and Stewart are to a return, and how fit Kashket is.

    Jombati has repeated his trick of last season, and slotted in well at centre back late on.
    Having seen Crawley's second goal at the weekend, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, as he lost the ball quite high and wide, and there was still plenty for them to do after that.

  • I'm looking forward to Harriman returning as well for the run-in.

  • There's not much point in 'protecting' Kashket with only eight games to go.

    He's looked sharp in his 10 minute cameos so let's give him a proper run out.

  • @bookertease said:
    Yes. But I felt exactly like that before Morecambe

    Same as.......I'm now nervous

  • @Vital said:
    There's not much point in 'protecting' Kashket with only eight games to go.

    He's looked sharp in his 10 minute cameos so let's give him a proper run out.

    I don't think Kashket should necessarily start a match this season. To get the most out of him he needs to sit tight to Bayo, in and around the box, and that just doesn't work in a 4-3-3. Also, given the problems in the defence, we need as much defensive support as we can get from our wide forwards and Kashket just doesn't offer that.

    We don't really need him to start either - it's not like any of the five other forwards are in bad form. They're all scoring pretty freely at the moment.

    I hope Freeman is back on Saturday, I'd love to see a front three of Tyson, Bayo and him. It would be good to see Kashket given a decent 30 minute run though to give him a proper chance to get off the mark.

  • @aloysius We played a midfield four (diamond) at Crawley on Wednesday.

    If we do it again, I'd love to see Bean at the base, O'Nien and Gape in the middle, and Kashket at the pointy end behind Akinfenwa & Tyson.

    It won't happen, but I bet we'd beat Vale.

  • It’s really hard to pick a front 3. Bayo obviously has to start but to have (say) CMS - who I rate very highly, Freeman - Great potential and skill and Kashket - genius on his day - all sat bench-warming because we start with Tyson and Paris and me just nodding quietly is a slightly surreal feeling

  • I predict we will all go with great hope and spend 98 teeth-grinding, fist-clenching, Clift tweeting minutes watching the boys dig out a narrow gruelling win. 1 - 0.

  • @robin, of course! A big omission from me there!

    I wonder if the missing players will have enough time to get match fit and be a real benefit. That depends on how fit they actually are now.

  • @bookertease, it is an incredible array of resources for a league 2 team.

    Every time I hear some manager basically suggest that we're a hoofball team of lucky scufflers, I think, have you taken a look at our forwards? Do you think Tyson, CMS and Bayo are some sort of mugs? They're some of the highest quality players this division has seen in a decade!

    And then I always think Paris is unlucky to start when those three do.
    Then we remember how Kashket raced to about 15 goals in about 3months last year.
    Then Freeman comes on with glorious control, playing at his pace yet still befuddling defenders.

    Wowzers.

    Alright, calm it down!

  • @Wendoverman , after my above post, agree 100%!

  • Screw it, I want to see Bayo, CMS, Tyson, PCH, Kashket and Freeman starting in a 2-2-6 formation. We'd probably only concede slightly more goals than we already are and it wouldn't matter anyway because we'd score about twenty every game.

  • @Jonny_King said:
    Screw it, I want to see Bayo, CMS, Tyson, PCH, Kashket and Freeman starting in a 2-2-6 formation. We'd probably only concede slightly more goals than we already are and it wouldn't matter anyway because we'd score about twenty every game.

    Someone should tell Gareth to do this if we've been promoted by the Stevenage game at the end of the season. Would love to see it!

  • In all seriousness, I think against some teams we could play an attacking 4-4-2 system along the likes of...

    Brown
    Moore, Jombati, El Abd, Jacobson
    Freeman, Gape, O'Nien, Tyson/Cowan-Hall
    Akinfenwa, Mackail-Smith/Kashket

  • If we're 4-0 up at half time on Saturday, I'd love to see a triple substitution of all three strikers with the other three. Let's see who can score us more!

    If.

  • Agreed but we'd need to be at least 4-0 up to try it!

  • @Jonny_King @aloysius I'm with you both there. Goalfest (at both ends probably!)

  • @ValleyWanderer said:
    Agreed but we'd need to be at least 4-0 up to try it!

    I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable enough at 4-0 to think we’ve banked a win. Even with 10 minutes left

  • With the ever changing defensive line-ups this season I would imagine Scott Brown does not feel comfortable until the final whistle goes.

  • To be fair he must spend far more time on the pitch than any other goalkeeper, so I’m sure he deserves to relax.

    We should probably plan our pre-season friendlies next season to be 50 minutes per half

  • Picking up on an earlier comment around the Kashket/Bayo combination not working in a 4-3-3, I simply don’t buy that.

    Our best run of form last season was with that formation, including a PCH/Bayo/Kashket front three. Kashket got the goals, Bayo the assists and Paris did much of the running. Worked a treat.

    I still find it hard to believe that we have so many quality options up front even now.

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