Port Vale keeper Scott Brown says his ‘biggest critic’, goalkeeper coach Ronnie Sinclair, has been crucial to his performances in a Vale shirt.
With the football season on hold, Brown is reflecting on his time at the Vale since signing on a free from Wycombe in the summer of 2018.
The 34 year old was player of the year in his first season, to help keep the club in the Football League, and has impressed again this year as the Vale have been competing for a play-off place.
Brown says the trust and respect he and fellow senior keeper Jonny Maddison have for Sinclair is vital.
He explained: “He is a really good coach. As goalies, we are always looking for that extra centimetre which could make the difference between getting a touch on the ball or being beaten.
“There might be a goal where the manager will say to him ‘could the goalie have saved that or come for it?’
“He won’t give an answer straight away, he will watch the DVD and talk it through with me and say maybe I could have done this.
“But also, if the manager hasn’t said anything about a goal, but we know as goalies that we could do better, then we deal with it. We are very harsh critics and want to improve all the time.
“He is brilliant with that. He is my biggest critic but also praises me most. That’s what you want, me and Jonny love working with him.”
Sinclair joined Vale in December 2017, having been brought in by the then-manager Neil Aspin, who was with him at Leeds, and also played against him for Vale when Sinclair was at Stoke City.
Brown added: “He is a fantastic bloke and does so much behind the scenes as well. He will do training on a Monday, then come back and do the academy on a Monday night. The kids love him there.
“Then he is watching the academy games on a Sunday morning as well. He does so much that people don’t see.”
Brown says behind-the-scenes staff such as video analyst Dan Thompson and physio Chris Banks and his team have also played an important role in helping Vale up to eighth in the table.
He added: “They are brilliant. There are so many people at the club who help us out as much as possible, then it is up to us on a Saturday at 3pm.”
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