‘Noah’s Ark’ – Scott Brown condemns Port Vale recruitment



Port Vale keeper Scott Brown says the club’s player recruitment has been ‘nowhere near good enough.’

The 35 year old remains a key player for a side that find themselves fourth from bottom of the Football League ahead of this weekend’s game at leaders Cheltenham.

Brown, who is in his third season with the club, says recruitment is at least partly to blame for Vale’s struggles.

He’s playing under his third manager, having been signed by Neil Aspin in the summer of 2018 before Aspin was replaced by John Askey in February 2019 and then Darrell Clarke installed last month.

The keeper, who was speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference, said: “I think the recruitment over the last few years has been really poor.

“I think if I look back to the first game of the season, if all of us here were picking a team, I would say probably 70 or 80 per cent of the players would be players that played in my first game of the season for Neil Aspin against Cambridge.

“Seventy or 80 per cent of the players would be those from Neil Aspin’s time. That’s not good enough because football moves on, players move on. They get better or worse. The recruitment has been nowhere near good enough.

“That is something that needs to improve. I am sure it will do.”

Brown was player of the year in his first season, 2018/19 as Askey helped keep Vale up. He was a key player in the side that Vale finished eighth under Askey last season and has been a regular again this year as Vale have plummeted after being fifth at the end of October.

The keeper believes Vale haven’t had the strength in depth they needed.

He said: “At the end of every year you will probably let go of the ones that haven’t featured as much and you replace them with players that you think are going to go into your starting XI. That has not been the case over the last few years.

“If you were picking a team for the first game of this season it would be very similar to Neil Aspin’s one from two years ago. There are a lot of transfer windows that have been and gone since then so that I think is where a lot of the problems have come from.”

Brown also says Vale’s squad is too big. Clubs are only allowed to register 22 players over the age of 21 but by the end of January they had to leave Harry McKirdy, Dino Visser and Daniel Trickett-Smith to comply with the EFL squad cap.

He says that has made new manager Clarke’s life more difficult: “We have about 30 players which I don’t think helps. I think it was after the Stevenage game, the lads that played and the subs were sat in the dressing room. Then the gaffer said to the lads that weren’t involved, the injured or the ones left out and the staff to come into the dressing room.

“Honestly, it took about two minutes for everyone to come in. It was like loading into Noah’s Ark or something. It was ridiculous.

“But that is the squad we have got, we have a massive squad, probably the biggest in the league, it is far too big. So, it is really difficult for the gaffer to assess everyone and see who he wants.”

Brown, like the majority of the squad, is out of contract in the summer.

He said: “There are a lot of players at the football club out of contract, but the football club is bigger than my future or any of the other lads out of contract.

“Every single player out of contract needs to make sure this is a Football League club next year. If you are staying here that will help you next year being a Football League player. But whether you are under contract, out of contract, or get released at the end of the year. Nobody wants a player that has been relegated from the Football League.

“There are going to be hundreds and hundreds of players out of contract this summer, possibly worse than last summer. So it is important that, whether you are going to be here or elsewhere, you give yourself the best opportunity to be a Football League player and to be a Port Vale player.”

Vale are eight points clear of the relegation zone with 14 games to play but Brown says they can’t rely on other teams and have to improve a run of 15 points from 22 games.

He said: “That’s not relegation form, that’s bottom-of-the league form. So, that’s where were at as a team at the minute.

“We know that Southend, Barrow and Grimsby are looking at that form and saying ‘we can catch them, we can get them.’

“I have been in the position where Southend, Barrow and Grimsby are. They will be looking at Port Vale’s fixtures and thinking ‘they have taken less than a point a game.’

“We need to move on from that as quickly as possible.”

Brown says manager Darrell Clarke is making an impact although he’s only been at the club for 18 days.

He said: “It has been really different to anything that we have been used to for the last couple of years.

“Training is really intense and the detail that he gives us is second to none on the opposition and what he wants. There are no grey areas on anything from him.

“We know exactly what he wants and then it us up to us on the pitch to go out and perform. But his details on the opposition are absolutely unbelievable. The way he wants us to play against them to counteract their strengths and their weaknesses is absolutely brilliant.

“It has been a difficult few weeks as well because we have had games Saturday-Tuesday, so we have not been able to work on loads. But hopefully we are seeing signs of that and what he wants, hopefully we can start producing more on the pitch.”





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *