ASPIN KEEN TO RETAIN SERVICES OF ASTON VILLA TEENAGER CLARK
PORT Vale boss Neil Aspin is hoping Mitch Clark’s success in the first half of the season will help the Valiants hang on to the talented defender for the rest of the campaign. The 19-year-old is with Vale on a season-long loan, but Aston Villa have a recall clause in January and Aspin accepts he may lose the youngster if a higher division club comes in for him. But the manager believes the fact Clark has been getting regular football at Vale Park will count in the Valiants’ favour when the Championship giants consider his future. Clark is currently out of action with a hamstring problem and being treated back at Villa. But Aspin is hoping he could be back training with Vale as early as next week. He explained: “He is only back there getting treatment. He will probably be training with us next week and he will stay with us unless they recall him. So, at the moment he is with us and he will continue with us unless they can get him a club probably higher up the chain. “I would be disappointed if he went to another club in this division. But everybody wants to play higher and you would have to say he has a better chance of getting into Aston Villa’s team if he is playing at a League One club regularly. “But I think from Aston Villa’s point of view, they have loaned us a player and he has played every game so it has been good for them as well.” The Valiants return to action this afternoon when they are away to Morecambe. Leon Legge will again miss the game through illness so Aspin could name the same XI that started in Tuesday’s 4-0 win at home to Stoke City under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy. Meanwhile, Vale will find out their next opponents in the Trophy when the draw for the last 16 is made at around 12.20pm on Sky Sports today.