Port Vale: McCombe wants to wing it all the way to Wembley
JOHN McCombe is backing Port Vale's wing wonders to keep the club on course for Wembley.
Jennison Myrie-Williams and Ashley Vincent have been ripping League Two defences to shreds this season and the popular defender has added his name to a growing list of admirers.
He believes the pair can do a similar job on League One Walsall in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tonight.
The wide men each claimed an assist for striker Tom Pope in Saturday's win at Exeter and McCombe hopes they'll be on top form again as Vale go looking for their first-ever win at the Bescot Stadium.
"Our wingers have been brilliant for us this season and I can see that carrying on tonight," he said.
"They keep creating chances and Popey keeps getting on the end of them. It's difficult for teams to stop.
"The wide men are an important outlet for us, particularly for defenders.
"It means we can spring from defence to attack very quickly and that gives the defence a chance to push up at the back and have a breather too."
The competition has been much-maligned in the past, but McCombe, who'll be partnered in central defence by Richard Duffy tonight, says it's one the club want to do well in.
Vale beat League One Tranmere in the northern section first round and would obviously relish the prospect of a Wembley final.
"Not everyone seems to take the Johnstone's Paint Trophy seriously, but we definitely are," added the 27-year-old.
"We want to go to Walsall and try to get the victory so we can carry on in the competition.
"Like the gaffer told us, this club wants to win every game it's involved in, and so do the players."
Vale make five changes for tonight's game and McCombe is under no illusions that it will be anything but another tough test.
"We've won five in a row on our travels, but Walsall away will be a difficult game," he said.
"They've lost their last two games, but they had a good start.
"They're a small team with one of the smallest budgets in League One, but they've had some new players this year and they're a young team who play with lots of energy."
With that in mind, perhaps, the former Hereford centre-half is thankful there'll be no extra-time or replays.
If it's all square after 90 minutes, the result will be decided on penalties.
"I'm glad there has to be a result on the night," said McCombe.
"We're going to end up playing more than 50 games during the course of the season, which is a lot for anyone to get through and it takes it out of you.
"So to know we'll get it done and dusted on the night is something that's definitely good for the players."
McCombe is hoping there'll be another big and noisy away following. "Our supporters have been travelling in force everywhere we've been this season," he added. "We even had good numbers down at Exeter, which is a hell of a long way.
"Hopefully, we can give them something else to shout about."