LET’S MAKE SOME FRESH MEM­O­RIES

Aspin wants class of 2018 to join club’s band of FA Cup heroes

The Sentinel - - RACING - Michael Bag­ga­ley

PORT Vale boss Neil Aspin will urge his play­ers to ‘cre­ate their own his­tory’ by pulling off an FA Cup shock at home to Sun­der­land in to­mor­row’s first-round tie (2.30pm).

The Valiants start as un­der­dogs for the game which is be­ing tele­vised live by BT Sport, but the man­ager says they should rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to take on a Black Cats side who are sec­ond in League One and the big­gest club in the firstround draw.

Aspin knows all about mem­o­rable FA Cup games for Vale hav­ing been in the side that beat Ever­ton and took Ar­se­nal to a re­play in the 1990s, but he wants the new gen­er­a­tion of fans and play­ers to have some­thing to re­mem­ber.

He said: “There will be a lot of peo­ple turn­ing up for this game who have never seen me play or the team play­ing back then. Time moves on.

“They are good mem­o­ries to have and good days when they oc­curred, but we have to try to cre­ate our own his­tory and the only way is by get­ting your own re­sults and try­ing to do some­thing on the pitch now.”

Win or lose to­mor­row, Aspin says the play­ers must come off at full time know­ing they have given their all.

He said: “We know we are go­ing to be in for a test and we are look­ing for­ward to it. I want our play­ers to give a good ac­count of them­selves.

“They have to make sure that they give ev­ery­thing out on that pitch so they they have no re­grets.”

In fact, the man­ager says the game is a chance for play­ers to show they could play at a higher level.

port vale

He ex­plained: “There will be play­ers who play on Sun­day and it will be a new ex­pe­ri­ence for them. They have to han­dle the oc­ca­sion but they have to re­alise that, if you want to play higher, this is what foot­ball is about.

“It is about play­ing against bet­ter op­po­si­tion, play­ing on a big­ger stage, with TV cam­eras there, it is all about how you han­dle these oc­ca­sions.

“We all look at play­ers at the top level and the rea­son they get there is they can lift their game and adapt to pres­sure and play­ing against good op­po­si­tion. We have a few play­ers who no doubt want to play higher. Now they have an op­por­tu­nity to show what they can do.”

Aspin doesn’t ex­pect Sun­der­land boss Jack Ross to play a ‘weak­ened’ team for the game, even though the Black Cats are push­ing for pro­mo­tion back to the Cham­pi­onship at the first at­tempt.

He added: “When you have the sup­port that Sun­der­land have, I don’t think their sup­port­ers will ac­cept them not do­ing ev­ery­thing they can to win games in the FA Cup. I feel that they will have a duty to do that and will be treat­ing this game every bit as im­por­tantly as a league game. So, I am fully pre­pared that they will have a very strong team and they will be ex­pect­ing to beat us.”

Aspin has the op­tion of nam­ing an un­changed side af­ter re­port­ing no in­juries to the team that drew 2-2 at home to Notts County last Satur­day.

How­ever, right-back James Gib­bons is un­likely to be in the squad af­ter miss­ing train­ing be­cause of ill­ness.

Manny Oyeleke and Cris­tian Mon­tano could re­turn to the match­day squad af­ter they played their first game back from in­jury in Tues­day’s 4-1 re­serves win at home to Wi­gan.

TV DATE: Neil Aspin wants his Port Vale play­ers to shine in front of the tele­vi­sion cam­eras.

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