Port Vale: Thompson 'has role to play for Valiants'
by Michael Baggaley
PORT Vale manager Dean Glover is confident Lee Sinnott signing Steve Thompson has a future at the club.
The 19-year-old striker finally made his debut for Vale last Saturday after being sidelined since August with hamstring problems.
Glover has worked hard to change the side around since replacing Sinnott as manager in October, but has seen enough of Thompson to believe he has a role to play.
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Glover said: "He has settled in well here so it is a case of trying to get him involved in the 16.
"Steve will be a threat. If he comes on as a substitute, people won't know about him and what his strengths are.
"He proved that on Saturday. He has a turn of pace and is a strong little beggar.
"Once he starts getting the goals, then hopefully he will get a decent run at it."
Thompson is expected to step up his match fitness by playing for the reserves at home to Mansfield today (2pm).
The former Middlesbrough youth player, who joined Vale in the summer, almost marked his debut with a goal when he came on for the final 15 minutes of the 2-1 victory at home to Grimsby. He missed that chance, but had a hand in the Vale winner three minutes from time.
Glover added: "Steve is a goalscorer and does that well in training.
"I felt he could have done better than he did on Saturday when he went round the keeper. Normally he would shoot at goal, but he looked to set someone else up.
"He is only 19, but is used to playing regularly in Middlesbrough reserves."
Meanwhile, Vale could have Dave Brammer back for Christmas. The veteran midfielder is making progress after knee surgery.
"He could be back in two to three weeks," added Glover.
VALE are likely to be without a game on January 3 after their scheduled opponents Gillingham beat Stockport last night to progress to the third round of the FA Cup.