Luke Joyce says Port Vale players have to answer tough questions



Port Vale’s experienced midfielder Luke Joyce says the players have to ask themselves tough questions as they prepare for Tuesday’s game at Bradford.

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Barrow means they have taken just five points from a possible 30 and has led to much criticism of manager John Askey on social media.

Joyce, who was captain after Leon Legge was dropped to the bench, says the performance wasn’t good enough but players have to take responsibility.

He said: “It has to come from within the individual. Do you want it enough, do you want to win games, do you want to be successful, do you want the three points, do you want to get hurt, do you want to win second balls, do you want to win headers?

“I think people have to ask questions of themselves and I think the majority of people will come away and, if they are honest then they are maybe not doing enough. Ultimately that comes down to players and individuals.”

The midfielder says players are playing for their own careers and will also feel a responsibility to the manager.

He said: “You should do. You have to. Ultimately jobs are on the line. In terms of myself, I am out of work in six months so you have to make sure you are doing your job on the pitch and doing enough to get another contact.

“I think ultimately at this level that’s what it comes down to.

“If lads think about that and, not just yourself but the effect it has on everybody else, then we have to give more.”

Vale had been scoring and creating chances before the Barrow game, but had been let down by defensive mistakes.

But they were poor at both ends of the pitch at the weekend.  

Joyce said: “We worked a lot this week on defensive shape, distances between players, and what to do when you come up against different formations and systems. But you can do all the work you want. When we are not making clearances or blocks or tracking runners, and letting people have a free attempt from three yards out, then it doesn’t matter what you do during the week. It is always going to hold you back.”

The Barrow defeat meant the Vale dropped a place to 17th. Bradford are 18th having won their last three games under caretaker manager Mark Trueman. 

Joyce believes Vale have the players to be competing higher up the table but can’t be complacent about that while they are sliding down the division.

He added: “You are always worried if you are not winning games. It is inevitable where you are going to go.

“We are heading in that direction at the minute, we are not winning enough games or picking up enough points. We have a good squad, we know that, but we have to start putting that out there on the pitch.”





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