Port Vale are looking for a new manager after parting company with John Askey on Monday. In the meantime coach Danny Pugh had been placed in charge of the first team ahead of Saturday’s game at home to Grimsby.
The club’s chief executive Colin Garlick talks to our Port Vale reporter Mike Baggaley about the search for a manager, transfer dealings in the meantime and more…
MB: BEFORE WE START TALKING ABOUT NEXT MANAGER I’M SURE YOU WANT TO SAY A WORD ABOUT JOHN ASKEY.
CG: “John and I go back a long way but equally I have worked with Dave Kevan for a couple of years. Both have been a pleasure to work with and are very genuine guys. It was a very sad day to end up where we were. But the true gentlemen that they are, they understood the situation and I would like to send a very sincere thank you to them both.”
WAS IT DIFFICULT DECISION ALTHOUGH SOME FANS HAD WANTED THE CLUB TO MAKE IT SOONER?
“I understand supporters’ frustration. We had a very bad run of five games but at that time the performances really weren’t that bad and there have been different circumstances, because we are living in different times with Covid so players have been in isolation as well as injured.
“We gave it every consideration that we possibly could. I understand supporters’ frustration on the back of a number of bad results but when you are taking someone’s employment away… as responsible employers we gave it every consideration because that is what they deserved.”
SO WHERE ARE YOU UP TO IN THE SEARCH FOR A NEW MANAGER?
“We have given Danny (Pugh) the position until further notice and we have a number of senior people in the building. So the likes of (goalkeeper coach) Ronnie Sinclair who has been here a long time. We also have the benefit of (youth development manager) Frank Sinclair, (academy coach) Billy Paynter and (academy coach) Anthony Griffith.
“We have some great experience there to help guide us through this period.
“As you can imagine, we have had an avalanche of applications from all sorts of places and they are coming in literally all day every day at the minute. So we will give all of those due consideration.
“But in the meantime we have a January window in place. We had plans before that and so are continuing to do that just to look at the best situation on the playing front and see how we can improve that. Danny (Pugh) is on board with that so we are working with him, we rely on his experience, his know-how and his contacts. We are working with him and supporting him as we did John and Dave.”
SO WHILE DANNY IS INTERIM MANAGER COULD HE BRING IN PLAYERS OR WOULD YOU WAIT FOR A PERMANENT APPOINTMENT?
“We are carrying on, we would look to bring in because we all have a responsibility for the club. That is the right thing to do. I appreciate people would expect a manager to want to have some manoeuvrability and that may be the case.
“I don’t know where we are going to end up with the manager’s position at this stage but at the moment Danny is in charge and has the full support, and he is happy with that.”
WOULD YOU EXPECT DANNY PUGH TO BE IN CHARGE FOR SATURDAY’S GAME?
“Yes. Danny is in charge until further notice and I so would expect that to include Saturday. We haven’t put a time limit on it. We don’t need to, we have confidence in him, he has done it before and he has the support of everyone at the club.”
SO AS WELL AS POSSIBLY RECRUITING PLAYERS YOU COULD ALSO MOVE PLAYERS OUT WITH DANNY IN CHARGE?
WE KNOW SOME PLAYERS HAVE BEEN TRANSFER LISTED. HAS THERE BEEN INTEREST IN YOUR PLAYERS?
“Yes there has been a little bit of interest. That is going to carry on until the end of the month.
“We are looking to bring in and we also have players that are available.”
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AN EXPERIENCED MANAGER, A YOUNG MANAGER OR TAKING EACH CANDIDATE ON THEIR MERITS?
“It would be silly of us to tie ourselves down at this point and say ‘this is our identikit manager’.
“We are very open minded. What we are looking for is somebody who really does fit into the ethos of the club and how we want to progress it. We have come a long way in the last 18 months or so and we want to continue that.
“This is obviously a difficult time but you are going to have these ups and downs in football, it is inevitable. So, we remain positive about where we are going to go and what we are going to do. Already there have been some very interesting applicants so we will see where it takes us. Other than that, we are totally behind Danny.”
WHEN YOU SAY ‘INTERESTING’ CANDIDATES – WHAT ELSE CAN YOU TELL US?
“They are coming from a wide variety of people in terms of experiences, outlooks and ambitions. It really is quite wide.”
IS IT FAIR TO SAY PORT VALE IS AN ATTRACTIVE JOB CONSIDERING THE OWNERS AND THE PROGRESS MADE OVER THE LAST 18 MONTHS
“I think Port Vale is an extremely attractive proposition and that is evident by the applications we have got. Even with experienced managers, there are also those that have a foothold in football and have differing experiences who want to come in and make a name for themselves. So, we are very attractive to quite a lot of people.
“The last 18 months under the new ownership, how they saved the club and what we want to do has not gone unnoticed out there.”