What The Papers Say: Rodgers Hungry For More
Feature by Stray Shots Team
Updated Tuesday, 28th October 2008
Port Vale striker Luke Rodgers is hoping he has done enough to persuade Dean Glover to ditch his tried and trusted 4-5-1 away formation for tonight's game at Aldershot reports Mike Baggaley.
But Rodgers could have forced his way into Glover's plans after his performances in Vale's back-to-back home games last week.
He came off the bench to score in the defeat to Exeter and then scored one and set up the other after starting alongside Richards for Saturday's 2-1 home victory over Morecambe.
Rodgers, who has bagged four goals from just nine starts and six substitute appearances this season, said: "The manager explained he left me out because the team was leaking goals so he wanted to play more defensively.
"But I have been working hard and I'm just pleased to have got the chance again. I feel as though I have shown what I can do.
"I hadn't been pleased with my own performances before I was left out, just as I don't think anyone else in the team was pleased with theirs."
Vale go in search of their fourth win in five games tonight to try to close the six-point gap to the play-off places.
Rodgers says a push for the play-offs is realistic, particularly now Vale have ended their run of four successive home defeats.
He said: "I was chuffed to score, but more important than anything was the fact we won at home. We've been winning away, but couldn't do it at Vale Park.
"I don't know what the reason was, but we have got past that now. We are back up there and definitely have a chance if we can carry on the way we are playing."
Meanwhile, Vale will make a decision on whether to take their former player Dave Brammer on loan later this week after assessing him in training.
Glover is hoping the 33-year old Millwall midfielder will bring crucial experience to his team.
He said: "He is in to train with a view to a loan at the end of the week. He has to show how fit he is but, if it comes off, it will be a great acquisition.
"He is what we need at the moment in terms of his experience and his ability to retain the ball."
Meanwhile a fourth win in five for Glover would recharge the 13th-placed Valiants' play-off ambitions, but the new boss is taking nothing for granted against a side he rates on their own ground.
He said: "It will be a difficult one because they are a good side at home.
"They have pace, but they are also a good footballing side.
"They will want to turn their results around after those away defeats, so we have to be prepared to battle, just as we were at Shrewsbury.
"We have to be ready to dig deep, have a go when we get possession and believe we can break them down. We are not just going there to defend."
Vale's new-found resilience under Glover is typified by their late goals at Shrewsbury and Chester, and at home to Morecambe.
Mistakes are inevitable in a young squad, but Glover is anxious not to discourage his players from playing the patient passing game he is trying to introduce.