What are the Vale fans thinking?
We recently asked a selection of die-hard Vale supporters their opinions on things Vale-related
Pete Lawton, from Sneyd Green, is a life-long fan and is a former Commercial Manager at Port Vale, having more than one spell at the club.
Jean Jackson, from Oakhill, follows Vale home and away. She has been a programme contributor and proof reader for a number of years and is very knowledgeable about the club.
Mark Porter, from Kidsgrove, has followed the Vale all of his life and is proud to be the Chairman of the Port Vale Supporters’ Club.
Gerard Austin, from Hartshill, is the club’s match photographer, a role he has undertaken for a number of years now. He attends all Vale’s home and away games.
Although Vale didn’t boss the game at Crawley, they did enough to come away with the three points. A few more away results like that would be most welcome. How did you see it?
Pete: It’s all going to be about results in this league. Three points will be the be all and end all. This is a great start and should give the team some good early confidence
Jean: We controlled the game for the first 25 and the last 10 minutes but the bit in between had us biting our nails. I hope we can be a little more consistent over the 90 minutes in future.
Mark: I thought we did well first half second half we let them back into the game and went deep they were physical yet we didn’t get drawn into that and I thought we kept going at them and got the right result. I’m not a fan of playing one up front, but 3-1 was a good result.
Gerard: The first half was fairly impressive given our many failings away in recent times. Confidence was up and we weren’t concerned by the task in hand. However in the second period we were dominated too much by the home side, though thankfully we ultimately kept them at bay. It was fantastic to see Dan Turner settle the nerves and make the Crawley goal a mere consolation. Overall a superb start and a result that breeds confidence after the misdemeanors of last term.
Dan Turner scored his first senior goal in Vale’s opening fixture despite playing out of position after coming on from the bench. Should he start against Wycombe on Saturday?
Pete: Dan is a young lad and obviously lacks experience, but the only way to get experience is by playing games. I’m sure Michael Brown will know it’s often said: “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough”. We need to be on the attack more in home games so let’s hope he features
Jean: I suspect at this stage he may be more effective as a substitute against tiring defenders. If we are going to play two up front then Pyke deserves a chance after his pre-season efforts.
Mark: No I don’t think he should I would use him as a sub because I thought Forrester played really well at Leeds and I feel he should be given a chance he held the ball up his first touch was really good and I believe he has the quality to score 25 goals a season at this level, I think Dan Turner should be given his chance but from his performance at Leeds Forrester edges it for me.
Gerard: I think players who have the confidence of young Dan can blossom if given a run of games. I have certainly never doubted his ability and talent. It’s there for all to see. Browny knows much better than I do but I would start him.
Some Vale supporters had doubts about the midfield pairing of Danny Pugh and Michael Tonge. What are your thoughts?
Pete: I wouldn’t have any ex Stoke players in my side !! But seriously, these two have the experience that we need and can be a key part to this season’s success. If it comes off, great, if not they are just a couple of old “Stokies”
Jean: Tonge showed on Saturday that he will struggle to make the full 90 minutes but his involvement in the first two goals surely means he has a part to play. Pugh is a definite starter for me.
Mark: I was in favour of this because they bring valued experience and I hope that the pairing works I can’t see any other combinations but De Freitas combined well with them both at Crawley. Tonge has two goals in two games – that speaks for itself and Pugh had a great game at Leeds United on Wednesday.
Gerard: There’s massive experience in there with Michael and Danny but for me we need more. If we can push the boat out a little I see Garry Roberts (The Portsmouth one) is looking for a club. I’d get in my car now to bring him to Vale Park. Competition for places there is vital. The two incumbents did a good job on Saturday though.
How long do you think we ought to give it before passing judgement on Vale’s summer signings?
Pete: Everyone deserves the chance to settle in, develop and impress. Let’s see how it’s looking at the end of October.
Jean: The bloke in front of me in the Railway Stand will probably defer his judgement for a good five minutes! They deserve at least 10 games before we decide if they are worthy of a Vale shirt – rushing to judgement is so often a mistake.
Mark: I think we will see how the summer signings have done by Christmas, but I believe they look ok and seemed to have settled in well, I will admit I was disappointed with Gunning getting sent off at Leeds but I think we have to give them all time to gel and start to get used to playing the way Michael Brown wants us to play.
Gerard: They have to be given time but you can pass judgement on a game by game basis. Most look sensible business at present by Browny but let’s see what they’re doing in October.
Come on then, you are the boss – what’s your starting Xl for Saturday’s home fixture against Wycombe Wanderers?
Pete: Michael Brown is the boss. Football has changed and ‘never change a winning team’ has gone out of the window. He’ll pick the best available team to match the scouting report – so that’s a cop out from me then!
Jean: Lainton: Wilson, Smith, Kay, Denton: Harness, Pugh, Tonge/De Freitas (genuinely can’t decide), Montano: Pope, Pyke.
Mark: My starting 11 for Saturday is Lainton (if fit) Wilson, Smith, Kay, Denton (in for the suspended Gunning), Harness, Tonge, Pugh, De Freitas, Pyke & Forrester. I think you have to say Forrester was really impressive at Leeds and I think he deserves his start and hopefully we will go 2 up front so any of Pope or Pyke to play alongside him.
Gerard: I am sure the boss will have been tempted to start with Tyler Denton at the expense of Gunning, despite being mindful that the latter did little wrong at Crawley. Gunning made the manager’s mind up for him on Wednesday night at Leeds when he was sent off. I will go for two changes to the Crawley side with the afore mentioned happening and Turner in for the rested Montaño.