Maybury has Valiants firmly in his sights

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 23 October 2020

Latics assistant head coach Alan Maybury is looking for his team to build on plenty of promise shown in the last couple of games ahead of tomorrow's home League Two test against Port Vale.

Four points from the last two games have lifted spirits in the Latics camp, and Maybury - who will step up again in the continued absence of boss Harry Kewell - is focusing on the positives.

John Askey's mid-table Vale will arrive at Boundary Park in mixed form, and Maybury knows what they're about.

The Irishman said of the Valiants: "They're like a lot of teams in this league. They work hard, they're well structured and they carry a goal threat.

"They're a big physical side as well, so we know it'll be a difficult challenge.

"We've recognised maybe what they're good at, and looked at areas where we can hurt them as well.

"As far as we're concerned we maybe haven't quite got going yet and not been able to back up results, but we have had back-to-back results now - although not two wins of course - and that's got to be a positive step forward.

"I've spoken to the players today about when games get a bit hectic and a bit physical, maybe they can just put their foot on the ball, take that breath, and do the stuff that we're good at.

"If we do that a bit more, we can do well against Port Vale.

"We've got pace, we've got good goal-scorers in our squad, it's just trying to find that balance at the back as well now.

"We know there's still lots for the players to work at, but we have shown that we can be quite adaptable."

Thankfully, Kewell's coronavirus symptoms appear to be easing, but he won't be back on the touchline until Saturday's week's trip to Salford at the earliest.

"The manager is doing well, he's starting to feel a little bit better," said Maybury.

"We speak about 100 times a day!

"He's good, and he's clear on what he wants me to try and deliver on the pitch.

"It's not easy because I'm the only one out there now, so actually getting onto the pitch is the easiest bit.

"Training has been good and preparations are going well for tomorrow."

On the team news front, defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has recovered from injury and should be available again tomorrow, but Andrea Badan and George Blackwood are still rated as doubtful.

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