‘Flipping hell, they are our fans as well’ – Port Vale ace


Manny Oyeleke says Port Vale’s players want to repay supporters who stuck by them when they were fighting to stay in the Football League.

The Vale are outside the play-off places only on goal difference going into Saturday’s home game with Scunthorpe, a remarkable change from survival battles in each of the last two seasons.

Oyeleke was impressed with the travelling support at Walsall last weekend as 2,300 cheered on John Askey’s team in the 2-2 draw.

He said: “It was amazing. I didn’t actually know that we had both sides until we scored and I saw opposite where we were sitting. But when we scored, I thought ‘flipping hell, they are our fans as well!’ We had half the stadium.

“The fans have gone through a lot in the last few years. We as players are happy to repay the faith they have in us. We know they will always be there for us, regardless of where we have been.

“The players who were here last year have seen the support through the tough times so we are happy to repay them and we are hoping to do more.”

Port Vale midfielder Manny Oyeleke with the thumbs up as he returns to the squad at Northampton

Oyeleke came off the bench on Saturday, his second appearance since having surgery on a hamstring injury.

He’s desperate to play his part in the final 11 games of the season but says there is strong competition in midfield and understands the manager easing him back into action.

He said: “Part of me wants to be back in straight away! As a player, you always want to play, but practically it is definitely a lot better for me in the long run to be integrated into the team a lot slower than before.

“But I am really happy with how I am progressing physically. I feel a lot better for it and am just raring to get back to 100 per cent sharpness.”

Oyeleke, who is in his second season with the Vale, said: “If you look where we were, this time last season, we were just happy to stay in the league.

“We have come on leaps and bounds. The manager and Carol and Kevin coming in have made a big change.  It is also a testament to the players that have come in. The squad depth is really good.”

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