Port Vale: Adams ready to refresh his line-up for Dons clash
MICKY Adams is tempted to tinker with a winning formula to keep Port Vale at the top of the promotion pile.
Victory against Accrington Stanley saw his team return to the top of League Two, but the Vale boss hinted there could be changes in the hunt for back-to-back wins at home to AFC Wimbledon tomorrow night (7.45pm).
Adams, who brought in four players last month, has now named the same team twice in a row.
But that won't stop him looking at a growing number of options within his squad for the next game.
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"We'll mix and match it," he explained. "We've got a great squad now and we'll use it.
"I did contemplate changes for the Accrington game, but felt the team who drew at Wimbledon deserved another chance.
"We've got Louis Dodds and Rob Taylor coming back to full fitness, and John McCombe too, so the dilemma will be not who is in the starting XI, but who is going to be on the bench.
"That shows how strong we've become. I can remember a time in the season when we could only name five subs, so we have progressed as a team and a squad."
Tomorrow's game will come just too soon for Dodds and Taylor, although both are now back in full training. McCombe is expected to return in a couple of weeks.
Adams does, though, seem to have settled on a favoured central midfield partnership, for the time being at least.
He has been impressed by the central axis provided by Ryan Burge and skipper Doug Loft, who impressed again in the win over Accrington.
"There's a nice partnership developing in there," he said.
"People will be saying what about Sam Morsy, Chris Shuker or Chris Birchall, but those two have got the shirts at the moment and I'm pleased with what they're doing. While they continue in that form, it's going to be difficult to leave them out."
While striker Lee Hughes and defender Darren Purse took the plaudits with goal-scoring home debuts, left-back Daniel Jones also did well on his first outing at headquarters.
Adams has been impressed by how the new boys have all adapted well to life at Vale Park.
"They're all characters in their own right and we've got enough characters in the dressing room anyway, so it has been quite an easy transformation for them," he said.
"Obviously, I do things differently to other managers, and when new players come to the club they've got to get used to the way I want things done and the way we play.
"But so far they've been pleasing, and they've adapted to the training, which isn't everyone's cup of tea.
"If you are a lazy player you wouldn't want to join this club. I tell players before they sign, 'If you want an easy ride, go somewhere else'."