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MICKY Adams says Chris Birchall is fit and ready to play a part in Vale’s promotion push – if he can fight his way past the competition.

Birchall has been restricted to one substitute appearance for the Valiants since joining the club a month ago.

However, the 28-year-old came through Tuesday’s 2-1 reserve win over Oldham to press his case for a place either out wide or in midfield.

Adams believes the former Vale, Coventry, La Galaxy and Columbus Crew player will play an important part in the club’s tilt at promotion, but will have to be patient for his chance.

He is in no hurry to change a winning formula which has carried Vale to second in League Two and made them the division’s highest scorers.

In-form wingers Ashley Vincent and Jennison Myrie-Williams are set to continue today as the Valiants chase the home win against Accrington Stanley (3pm) which could take them back to the top of the table.

Adams said: “The 90 minutes Chris had for the reserves will have done him good, so his fitness levels are getting better.

“Chris is capable of stepping in at any given time, but he has to be patient because the lads who are in there at the moment are doing well.”

Meanwhile, Adams is hoping his own experience will give Vale an edge in the final months of the campaign.

The 51-year-old has won promotions with Fulham, Brighton and Leicester in a management career which started at Craven Cottage 17 years ago.

He said: “I have been in the fortunate position of being promoted three times as a manager so this scenario is not going to faze me, if indeed we do get promoted.

“I will keep driving the boys on and demanding that they set standards for themselves as individuals and a team.

“If I can do that then we will run it close, but we are not there yet.”