Tom Pope is unable to face parent club Rotherham as Port Vale look to turn around their miserable run of form.

Striker Pope joined the Valiants on a month`s loan on Friday and duly made his debut as a second-half substitute in Saturday`s 1-0 loss at Lincoln, yet he is ineligible to face the Millers under the terms of his switch.

Defeat at Sincil Bank over the weekend was manager Jim Gannon`s fourth from five games since taking charge and his task gets no easier with the visit of third-placed Rotherham.

Gannon has plenty to ponder ahead of the encounter, not least which formation to go with having started with a 4-2-3-1 system against the Imps before moving to a more conventional 4-4-2 in the second half.

Goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson missed his first league game of the season due to a hip injury and will be assessed, while skipper Gareth Owen was left on the bench upon his return from a one-match suspension before being introduced at half-time.

Gannon must now decide the extent of his involvement against Ronnie Moore`s men, along with that of influential midfielder Doug Loft (calf) who made his long-awaited return as a 78th-minute substitute. Forward Sean Rigg (thigh) will again be monitored.

Rotherham manager Moore is assessing the fitness of two players.

Defenders Nick Fenton and Dale Tonge picked up knocks in the 4-0 win over Stockport on Saturday but despite missing training, both players are hopeful they will feature at Vale Park.

The Millers will be without midfielder Jason Taylor again as he serves the final game of his three-match suspension, while defender Ryan Cresswell is still sidelined with a broken collarbone.

Ryan Taylor should keep his place in attack after scoring twice against the Hatters.

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