Port Vale fans talk Harrogate, Darrell Clarke, and Walsall critics


Port Vale will be looking to move closer to the play-off places when they take on unbeaten Harrogate at Vale Park this weekend.

Looking at issues on and off the pitch is our fans panel of Paul Dixon, from Burslem, Scott Lingard, from Sneyd Green, and Wayne Windsor, from Porthill.

WHAT’S YOUR PREDICTION?

Paul Dixon : “Vale to win 2-0 with Proctor and Conlon to score.”

Scott Lingard : “After the encouraging result at Swindon I’m going for a 2-1 win for Vale.”

Wayne Windsor : “This will be a tricky fixture against the only unbeaten team in the division. Harrogate have made a very good start winning four and drawing two of the six games played but, as I’ve always said,d playing at home you have to use the crowd as an advantage. But we have to defend better than we did against Rochdale plus take our chances at the other end.

So, I’m going for a hard-fought 3-2 win.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Paul Dixon : “We never win at Swindon do we? At least I can say, “I was there” after seeing some really heavy defeats there.

“Would I have picked that side? Not a chance, but Clarke got everything spot on and we could possibly have been more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

“Rodney was unplayable in the first forty-five, twice going close, and perhaps should have done better after rounding the keeper, but his pace getting in behind was getting the better of Swindon.

“We had a poor fifteen minutes early in the second half but Clarke identified a problem and swapped Benning with Gibbons and not only plugged the gap but it swung the game back in our favour.

“I’m sure Gibbo will be in with a shout to start on Saturday and it’s great to have that calibre of player waiting in the wings.

Rodney’s three-match ban is not great news. I was there and he barely touched him. Crichlow( their player) had upset Vale fans with his antics in the first half where he spent a lot of the time rolling around as if he’d been snipered.

“None of the four officials saw it but I suppose Swindon felt aggrieved with it and reported it.

Ben Garrity put in a superb box-to-box performance and his two goals were brilliant finishes which all added up to a man-of-the-match display. His energy levels were outstanding.

“Finally, the support at the county ground was the best I have seen for a while. We were tucked away in a corner so it’s not the most pleasant of stadiums but Vale were vocal and really got behind the side. It really was great to be there and involved.”

Scott Lingard: “We seem to be a potentially really well-balanced team this season, but it appears the fans, as well as the manager, are struggling to find the best line-up.

“After the great win away at Forest Green, which was a totally unexpected result, we put in what can only be described as a poor performance against Rochdale at home. This, and taking in our previous record at Swindon, led to the expectancy that we would be very lucky to not come away with any points at a ground we simply never win at.

“Well, just like Port Vale seem to do, we pulled off a coupon- busting away win with another great away performance. This leads me to thinking about what a number of Walsall fans had previously said about our current manager Darrell Clarke, which is that tactically he sets up well away from home, but sometimes not so well at home.

“This can prove frustrating for us fans, as we can all see the potential this team obviously has. I have seen comments saying this squad is no better than last season, but I have to disagree.

“I think the keyword this season is potential, and we have bags of it, but this is a new squad that’s been assembled, and it will take time to find its feet.

“We all want a team that’s unbeatable, but that’s never going to happen. But we do have a team that could and should be challenging at this level, with bags of experience.

“Ben Garrity had an excellent game last week, and we have needed a midfielder who can score goals so we are not so reliant on Tom Conlon being our only goal-scoring midfielder.

“I think we just need to be a bit braver at home. From what I have seen, we have some really threatening attacking players, who maybe are still settling into life at Vale Park.

“It seems to me that once they do settle, teams will find us a tough nut to crack at home. It’s great to see such good work being put in off the pitch by Carol. I don’t think any self-respecting Vale fan would deny that Carol and Kevin both deserve the results on the pitch to match the commitment they have put into the team. If it wasn’t for them we very well may not have had a club to support.”



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Wayne Windsor : “It was a good move by the club to highlight the World Suicide Prevention Day last week, giving us the opportunity to listen to the staff including Dave Flitcroft, Adam Yates and especially Colin Garlick talking openly and honestly about their experiences.

“Having sat and listened to Colin during a number of Supporters Club meetings over the past three years or so, it brought a tear to my eye to hear his story.

“It’s reassuring to know that my club is there to listen to people if and when needed.”





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