The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Luke Baker

UN­DER-PRES­SURE man­ager Michael Brown is count­ing on two re­turn­ing veter­ans to spark life into his stut­ter­ing Port Vale side.

Mid­fielder Michael Tonge, 34, com­pleted his sus­pen­sion for a red card against Crewe this week, while an­other mid­fielder, Danny Pugh, also 34, is back in train­ing fol­low­ing a knee in­jury.

And, with his side of­fer­ing limp show­ings in re­cent weeks – they were bot­tom of the ta­ble be­fore the week­end – Brown ad­mits he is re­ly­ing on them to de­liver the goods.

“Tongey knows the game and he’s an en­thu­si­as­tic char­ac­ter,” he said. “It’s fan­tas­tic to have him back, and Danny Pugh is run­ning with half a limp at the minute. He joined us on the grass in train­ing last week and said ‘I think I’ve got a chance for Satur­day, boss!’ That’s the type of char­ac­ter we want.

“It’s far too early for him but he’s ready to give ev­ery­thing. He’s not a mil­lion miles away.

“There are a cou­ple (in the squad) who are frag­ile. It’s become dif­fi­cult early on in matches for some of these play­ers, but they have got to find their met­tle to dis­cover this is real foot­ball now.”

AVAIL­ABLE: Michael Tonge

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