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SETTLED ON THE PLAN

21 October 2014

Iron manager Mark Robins believes his side are well equipped to come out on top when they travel to Staffordshire to face Port Vale on Tuesday evening.

United head into the game looking to extend their unbeaten run to three games after backing up a 3-0 victory at Gillingham with a 1-1 home stalemate against Colchester United in Robins’ first match in charge on Saturday.

Having now benefitted from a first full week of training with his new squad, Robins told The Iron Player: “We’ve reviewed the game from Saturday, and set our stall out [for Port Vale].

“They’ve worked in between and had a decent run-out, so we’ve done our game-prep. I want them to go out, and to go and work hard for themselves, each other and the supporters.

“We’ll be looking to put in a good performance for the fans who come and watch us, and it’s another game I’m looking forward to. If you look at the table we’re only really three points away from mid-table obscurity.

“There’s some good points from Saturday’s game, and some really poor points, which gives me something to do on a day-by-day basis.”

The away side will have to do without the services of the suspended Gary McSheffrey after the winger picked up his fifth booking of the season in the meeting with the Us.

McSheffrey has been a consistently creative force for United since arriving at the club last season, but Robins added: “It gives someone else an opportunity, so let’s see what Gary’s replacement can come in and do.

“I’m settled on what I’m doing, so am quite relaxed on that one. At this stage you wouldn’t really want anyone picking five bookings up, but it is what it is, and that’s life.

“It gives Gary a bit of a chance to get a breather before Saturday back at Glanford Park [against Notts County].”

The Irishman’s absence could open the door for a number of players to stake a claim for a first team berth by stepping up to the plate in a game where fleet of foot and speed of mind could prove to be a decisive factor.

The likelihood of such a scenario occurring is particularly prevalent given the size of the playing surface at Vale Park, and Robins admitted: “It is a big open space, and you get a real feel for that, especially with the stands being away from it.

“It’s a big pitch, with a lot of ground on the opposite side to the main stand. I’ve played there myself in the past, and know how big it can be.

“We’ve got to make that count for us, and try and minimise it for them.”

See much more from Mark Robins and Jennison Myrie-Williams on The Iron Player.

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