Port Vale v Barnet - Preview

Mark Robson will be hoping his Barnet side start their league campaign with a win

Mark Robson will be hoping his Barnet side start their league campaign with a win

First published in Ryman Premier Division Table & Results

Barnet travel to Port Vale tomorrow (Saturday) looking to get their League Two campaign off to a winning start.

The Bees kick off the season as favourites for relegation. After surviving on the final day for the past three years it is hardly surprising.

However, there has been a big change over the summer and a passing football philosophy has been implemented.

Young players with a football education at Premier League clubs have been brought in. How this will fit into what is undoubted a physical league remains to be seen.

"The last couple of years haven’t been good for the football club in terms of having to survive on the last day," said head coach Mark Robson.

"The few players that are left here don’t want that this season to be the same and the new lads all have aspirations to move back up the ladder again.

"They’ve come from Premier League clubs where they didn’t get a chance. So it is an opportunity for them to show what they are about and after the performance against Birmingham, I am very optimistic."

He added: "We are looking to the future and we have a way we want to try and play. We have a belief and we will stick to that belief.

"The players have really bought into it and are really enjoying it and they are showing some real quality at the moment.

"If they can stay like then we will be very optimistic for the rest of the campaign."

Last season the Bees came away from Vale Park with a 2-1 victory as Andy Yiadom headed in a late winner.

The Valiants season began with a 3-1 defeat in the Capital One Cup against Burnley and, like Barnet, will be hoping to get their league campaign off to a winning start.

Robson is looking forward to the fixture and is anticipating an tough contest.

"It won’t be an easy game. I watched them play at the weekend and they are a good side. They try to play and pass it and obviously Micky Adams is an extremely good manager.

"He has been around for a long, long time and I expect his time to be up for a battle as well.

"It is a nice play to go and they have a nice big pitch. It is a change from Birmingham and everybody will be looking forward to it on Saturday."

Vale boss Micky Adams believes his side will have to work hard to stop the Bees passing game if they are to take the three points.

“The first league games always throw up results you don’t expect. Barnet came to us last season when everybody expected us to beat them. We had just gone into administration then and everyone was a bit down and they beat us.

“Since then, they have changed their manager and their whole philosophy and the way they play so we expect a tough game.

“If we give them time and space, they’ll enjoy coming here again, and we can’t afford that.

He added: “They relied a lot on Izale McLeod to score goals last season but they haven’t got that this year. They have Jon Nurse up front and others that can hurt you.

“Mark Robson is in his first management job now. He has to get his own ideas across about the way he wants to play.

“While the sun is shining and the pitches are good, then passing out from the back and playing looks a very good philosophy and if they can continue with that then great. But he’ll be judged on results like we all are.”

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