Port Vale are set to take part in a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday night and are prepared to give defender James Gibbons some valuable playing time on his road to recovery, according to the Stoke Sentinel.
The League Two side don’t have a fixture in the latest round of EFL Cup games, having been eliminated by Sunderland in the first round. It means that the club are able to use this midweek slot as a chance to hold a match of their own.
One player sure to benefit is Gibbons, who only featured in 11 games for his side last season. He’s also yet to play a part in this campaign too, with the 23-year old having to watch on from the sidelines due to a hamstring injury.
It’s meant that the defender has had to play a bit-part for the Valiants recently despite notching up nearly 100 outings for the club, having spent every year of his career with them to date.
However, Gibbons is now back in training and boss Darrell Clarke has revealed to the Stoke Sentinel that he plans to give the right-back the chance to get back out onto the field – albeit behind-closed-doors – on Tuesday.
If he can build up his match fitness, then it could go a long way towards getting him back in the starting eleven soon.
The 23-year old being back in training is a boost to Port Vale – even better that he’s now getting the chance to feature in a match-type situation.
The League Two side were sat in mid-table when the 2020/21 season came to a close but with four games gone in the new campaign, they’ve found themselves struggling at the wrong end of the league.
They’re currently 17th and although they have three points on the board, they’ve actually yet to bag themselves a win.
If they want to try and pick up points on a more frequent basis, they’ll need the majority of the squad to be fit and available for selection in case they’re needed. Therefore, this news can only be of benefit to the entire club. Gibbons didn’t feature too heavily last year but he remains a decent option in defence and could certainly provide a lift to the side if he came back into the fold.
If he were fit and available again – something that boss Clarke can decide for himself in this midweek friendly – then he could certainly provide a solid and different choice at right-back as the Valiants chase that first win.