‘You’d want him to get the job’ – Port Vale’s Tom Pope on rumours and search for manager



From looking at the reports and comments about who our next manager might be, the only thing for certain is that, whatever the owners decide, they won’t please everybody.

I even saw someone say we need to go and get Gareth Ainsworth. He’s just had a double promotion to the Championship and is riding on a high at Wycombe – and someone thinks he’s going to come to Port Vale in League Two? Some of the things you read are ridiculous.

Meanwhile, Danny Pugh is our interim manager and, if any of the fans had worked with him, I can guarantee they would want him to get the job. It’s not just the level he’s played at, it is his coaching and his knowledge.

I played with him at Bury so have known him longer than most.

When you play with people who have played at the top level, as he has, you always wonder if they will be a bit flash. But it hasn’t changed Danny’s personality at all. He is a real down to earth guy.

We just want to give him a chance.

When Neil Aspin went, Danny was given the reins but we had a game called off for snow so he was never given that opportunity to take charge for a match.

So I just hope he gets a game or two for us to try to show we would love to play for him.

People have asked whether there was a rift between the dressing room and John Askey. Well, no there wasn’t.

I just think the world has changed and so has football. One thing that doesn’t change is fans’ passion for the club, they want 100 per cent work rate and effort.

But the likes of Roy Keane, Patrick Viera, or for us, Neil Aspin or Andy Porter, are gone.

There aren’t the same players who would go around smashing people and winning tackles. It is the way football is. Supporters still have that raw emotion but more players now show their will to win and desire by getting on the ball.

The sort of dressing room I was in when I started my career has completely changed. But that’s not just at Port Vale, I am sure it’s the same in the game in general.

When Micky Adams was here we would have to come in on a Sunday and run when we had lost on a Saturday. Nowadays players more likely to say, ‘no, I’ll speak to the PFA.’

Anyway, one of the rumours circulating on social media after last Saturday’s defeat at Mansfield was there had been a bust up on the bus and half the players had got off. Not true, it simply didn’t happen.

Someone phoned me when we were on the way home to say there were rumours people would be waiting at the ground to vent their frustrations.

I said there wasn’t much point because there were only about half a dozen of us on the bus.

The lads from Manchester or Birmingham, depending on whether we are playing north or south, tend to make their own way. It’s only the lads from Stoke that get on the bus at the ground.

So, I don’t know whether the rumour came from that but it was nonsense. No player is going to get off the bus half way home and start thumbing a lift.

Talking of rumours, there has been stuff on social media this week linking me with clubs, including Scunthorpe.

As I see it, I still I have a lot to give. I could have gone to Scunthorpe on deadline day in the summer. But the clubs couldn’t agree to the wages and it didn’t materialise.

I haven’t heard anything this time around but circumstances have changed. I would be hopeful of staying here, scoring goals and helping the club.

I have a decent relationship with Carol and the board, with Martin Tideswell, Claire Halket and Colin Garlick.

I have spoken to Carol on numerous occasions. I have had my troubles with social media and we have had quite a lot of chats and are open with each other.

I would love to stay. If the team is in the trenches and surrounded then I would like to feel they would want me in with them, not off fetching ammunition or water carrying.

I am just hoping I can get some games, score some goals and then we will see what happens.

The most important thing is Port Vale getting a result this weekend.

Grimsby have a new manager in Paul Hurst, we have Danny Pugh taking the reins and there is going to be a lot on the game.

But we have Tom Conlon back as well as Dave Worrall and Cristian Montano fit again and we are at home.

I would like to think with the players we have and the respect they have for Danny, we can put on a performance and get three points.





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