We recently asked a selection of die-hard Vale supporters their opinions on things Vale-related
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.
Nicki Jones, from Baddeley Green, is a life-long fan who has worked in the media department and other departments at the club on a voluntary basis.
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.
How pleasing was Vale’s performance against Oxford United last weekend and what can we read into it?
Eddie: It was the best Vale performance for a long while. It showed that we are heading in the right direction under the new management team.
Nicki: The performance against Oxford was fantastic – Aspo is bringing the smiles back to Vale fans’ faces. After the disappointment of the Swindon game, it was great to see the reaction from the players against Oxford. The players seem to have their confidence back and it’s been a long time since I can remember such a dominant performance. Every single player was superb.
Pete: An excellent all-round display. They were “in their faces” first and foremost which is the key to winning any cup tie, especially one against a team from a higher division. This was backed up with enthusiasm, organisation and no shortage of good football. If they can continue to play and develop this way I think we can read into it that they are taking on board what the requirements of the new management team are
Jean: The Oxford match was undoubtedly our best performance of the season. We were in control of the game for 90 minutes and never gave the higher division team a sniff. It looked like the players were absolutely determined to show the manager that what we saw against Swindon was an aberration rather than the norm.
Vale have been drawn against Yeovil in the next round but is it a tie you would have chosen had you been given the choice?
Eddie: Yes. No tie is easy but a moderate team at home is as good as we could have hoped for and Yeovil looked quite ordinary at their place. Matches away to teams like Gateshead or Oxford City would have had romantic appeal but would also have been the proverbial banana skins.
Nicki: Yes, I’m happy with the draw. I’m just glad that we’re at home and have avoided a non-league team!
Pete: Yes every time. At this stage of the competition all you can hope for is to be drawn at home to shall we say, “average opposition”. In the past “Rudgie” would have been down to see “Belly” asking how much the win bonus would be to get in the 3rd round
Jean: I think it’s as good as we could have hoped for. It’s a home tie, it’s not a banana skin non-league club and it’s a team who are not setting the world on fire in our division. I just hope Vale don’t assume it will be easy and put in a performance similar to their win in the First Round.
How winnable is the game against Newport County this week?
Eddie: They are having a far better season than last time under Mike Flynn, whose appointment kept them up last season. They have a new expensive pitch on which to play their football. Vale are in good form and should be capable of at least a draw.
Nicki: Every game is winnable in this league. I haven’t seen any outstanding teams yet and I’m sure that, if we play as we have been doing, we can come away with the three points.
Pete: Horrible place to play! It makes a wet Wednesday night in Stoke look attractive!
This really is one that the lads have to be up for. Win it (and it is winnable) and it answers a lot of questions for the manager about his players
Jean: Any game is winnable if Vale play to their full potential. Newport, however, have done very well since Mike Flynn took over when they looked dead and buried last year. It will be a tough game but fingers crossed for a good result.
What has been the most pleasing aspect of Neil Aspin’s short time in charge of team affairs?
Eddie: Team spirit is shining through and the players look to be playing for Neil Aspin.
Nicki: The transformation of the performances in such a short period of time has been incredible. Most notable for me has been the speed of getting the ball up the field and providing support to Popey. The defence is also much better organised – it’s been a while since I’ve seen us win so many offside decisions.
Pete: It’s been a very pleasing month, but let’s keep grounded, we are not out of the woods yet. The fact remains we are third bottom of the fourth division but things are certainly starting to look better
Jean: His complete honesty. When we lost to Swindon he didn’t look for excuses about the referee or anything he just said we were tripe and it wasn’t good enough. Honesty like this makes a refreshing change!
Is there anything else Vale-related you would like to share with us?
Eddie: Those sceptical about the Checkatrade Trophy format and are boycotting the games missed a terrific performance against Crewe. It gained Vale another £10000 prize money. If Vale actually won the competition they will have received a total of £290000 in prize money along the way. Can we ignore this source of income and the possibility of a day out at Wembley?
Nicki: The decision to swap dugouts is already proving to be a great one – watching Aspo share his opinions with the linesman is a treat!
Jean: Just suppose Vale beat Yeovil and get through to the Third Round of the Cup. What happens if both Vale and Stoke are drawn at home – who gets the Saturday? I bet we’d toss a coin and I bet I know who’d win!
Love your football? Then why not tune in to two great shows right here on 6 Towns Radio where we talk about the game and play some great music?
Join Dave and Pete on Midweek Kickabout 7pm until 9pm every Tuesday for some great football chat, along with quiz questions to test your knowledge. The two of them will be joined in the studio by special guests – why not join them?
Every Saturday between 10am and midday on Boots Bats n Balls, Rob and Dave talk Premier League, Stoke City and Port Vale and whatever else takes their fancy. They also broadcast interviews recorded at the Bet365 Stadium and Vale Park.