Vale fans await the new appointment
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.
Eddie Jackson, from Oakhill, has followed the club man and boy and still attends all Port Vale games, home and away. He has also been a programme contributor and proof reader.
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.
Micky Adams has recently said Vale need to appoint a manger quickly. Are you confident if that happens mistakes won’t be made?
Pete: Given our current situation both on and off the pitch I don’t think anyone can be too confident. However the urgent appointment of an experienced manager will lessen the likelihood of mistakes.
Eddie: I’ve been a Vale fan for far too long to believe mistakes will not happen. They go with the territory where Vale are concerned.
Mark: I feel we do need to appoint a manager as soon as possible – we are not getting points. I feel we need to bring in someone with experience, someone who can give direction to the players. We categorically need a manager who has been a manager in this league or above and has a proven track record.
Gerard: In any football club you need to see what the future holds. To get a decent manager over the line to work with the players is of paramount importance to the season. We need a quality experienced manager who knows the leagues and has had some success maybe mixed in with the odd failure. It’s no good assuming we will get somebody with an unblemished track record. It won’t happen unless we have another rookie manager. Norman makes the call as it’s his choice and his club. I will hope he is able to get it right. Norman has told us we will not go down, I can only assume therefore that he has a good manager lined up to take a potentially good group of players much higher up the division.
Where do you see Vale’s next points coming from?
Pete: That’s a really difficult question, probably a Nectar card !!!
Eddie: Stevenage will be exceedingly difficult but the next two League games are at home to Grimsby and Cheltenham. I believe Vale will finally get a home win against one or both of those two.
Mark: I see us getting a point at Stevenage, but until the uncertainty about the manager is sorted out then I feel we will struggle the players need a lift and someone to come in and build the confidence back up.
Norman Smurthwaite says he is again involved in the everyday running of the club. Once the manager has been appointed, should he take a back seat again?
Pete: There isn’t a seat further back enough in my opinion. I’m afraid he will use the current situation to fuel his deluded ego and attempt to be our knight in shining armour -sad times.
Eddie: Certainly. I have confidence in Colin Garlick and would leave matters in his safe hands. Norman has become a toxic brand in the eyes of many Vale fans.
Mark: It’s his club and he can do what he wants, but personally I think I would like him to leave it to Colin Garlick who has the experience and who successfully ran Rochdale & Macclesfield.
Gerard: It’s entirely up to Norman. It’s his club and can operate how he wishes. He can take more of the day to day running, equally he can keep in a back seat. It’s his call.
How difficult is Saturday’s fixture away to Stevenage?
Pete: It’s proof of the depths we have sunk to when we see a trip to Stevenage as a difficult fixture.
Eddie: Extremely difficult. They have a dynamic young boss in Darren Sarll who has them playing an energetic, high-pressing style. They score lots of goals. I expect them to end in the play-offs. Vale would do well to avoid defeat.
Mark: Very difficult. We can at least hope to get a point, but what we need is a solid performance in both halves not just the first half. The fact we need a result quickly will add pressure onto the players, but they should just keep trying and hopefully we will do ok at Stevenage.
Gerard: Not really. Teams in this division work hard as a pre-requisite. If we can outfight Stevenage, fine, and we will achieve a good result.
Any other business?
Pete: This vacant managerial position needs to be resolved. It cannot be allowed to continue. A decision must be made with immediate effect to appoint an experienced manager and move forward before the mire gets any deeper.
Eddie: Vale have not won at home since 1st April. They have lost six and drawn one of the last seven home games. Often you hear opposing bosses say ‘Vale Park is a difficult place to come to’ but that is a long way from the truth nowadays. It is much harder for our fans to come to come to Vale Park than it is for opposing teams. Fortress Vale needs to be reestablished by the new Manager when he is in place.
Mark: I hear names in the running for the job and I feel we need a good appointment. Paul Ince, Billy Davies, Steven Pressley, Danny Wilson, Chris Powell would all be good choices. I don’t think we need a cheap option who hasn’t been a manager before, we need experience and someone who has a good knowledge of the leagues. Out of all the contenders from non-league, the only candidate would be Neil Aspin, who has a good record in the non-league with Harrogate, FC Halifax & now at Gateshead, where Micky Cummins is also on his backroom staff.
Gerard: I find it funny scouring the Directors Boxes at the matches in recent weeks for possible managerial people checking if they are wearing hats they may throw into the ring, but many are attached to club and may just be there to look at the opposition. We all assume however that they are all about to sign on the dotted line when most are probably blissfully uninterested. It’s a funny business.