We recently asked a selection of die-hard Vale supporters their opinions on things Vale-related.
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.
Ally Simcock, from Stoke, is on the national council of the Football Supporters’ Council and is a support liaison officer at Port Vale and former Chair of the Supporters’ 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.
Dan Beech, from Burslem, is a Vale fan of 30 years and has assumed many roles at the club, including ball boy and programme seller.
A disappointing end to Saturday’s FA Cup fixture means Vale now face a replay. What are our chances of progressing now?
Nicki: I think that our chances of progressing are still good – we drew 1-1 there in September so there’s no reason why we can’t get a result on Saturday. Following the great start under the new manager, the last few games have shown our frailties again but I think, on our day, we can beat Yeovil.
Ally: It will be a long and daunting drive to Yeovil on Tuesday night. I didn’t feel either team looked good on Saturday, but Vale did manage a slight edge. If we can keep our heads up, we have just as much of a chance as they do.
Eddie: We’ve played Yeovil twice already this season and they have not impressed me, getting a fortunate draw on both occasions. I believe we can beat them, hopefully in normal time so that we can get home relatively early.
Dan: Disappointing is an understatement! Yeovil very poor side and had numerous clear cut chances to win comfortably. It is very much 50/50 if the Vale will progress. If we defend without silly mistakes or switching off we should progress.
Should Vale manage to see off Yeovil, next up is a home tie against Bradford City. Is that a decent draw or a poor one?
Nicki: We are overdue an exciting draw in the FA Cup and this continues that pattern. It’s not the most attractive of ties but it’s better than a non-league team away!
Ally: We were all hoping for a big club draw once they were added to the mix, but we drew Bradford, so I guess it depends how you look at it. Our chance of getting something from it is slightly better but it’s not a glamorous crowd-drawing one.
Eddie: Well, I suppose we should not complain about a home draw but it is no money spinner and I felt underwhelmed.
Dan: Poor draw, it has been a very long time since we had a decent draw in the FA Cup.
How winnable is the Bradford game should Vale see off Yeovil?
Nicki: It’s a tough draw but being at home gives us a chance. Bradford are having a good season and are up there in League 1 but who knows which Port Vale will turn up on the day.
Ally: Every game is winnable, but we have a lot of matches coming up and energy levels are bound to be lower. We aren’t managing to get points from the easiest of games, so it’s a tough one to call.
Eddie: It would be difficult. Vale are hardly in great form and we have had many disappointments at their hands.
Dan: Vale’s home record is not great, we would give them a good challenge but I think they will be too strong should we get through.
Uche Ikpeazu is expected to line up against the Vale this weekend with Cambridge United. What kind of reception can he expect from the home support?
Nicki: I remember Uche started off really well with us until his sending off at Burton and then he couldn’t get back in the team. I’ve never been one to boo former players when they return to Vale Park as that always seems to backfire and they score against us.
Ally: I think he will be well received. He was a fan’s favourite during his spell at Vale. Just hope he doesn’t do to well on Saturday!
Eddie: Fairly muted reception I think. He started well with us but his contribution gradually declined.
Dan: I would hope a decent reception, always tried his best. Lost his way a little towards the end of his loan. Will be a massive threat on Saturday.
Anything else Vale-related you wish to share with us?
Nicki: I bet that Rudgie, Aspo and the management team are putting in the miles watching games at the moment – the January transfer window will be crucial for us.
Ally: The Port Vale Supporters’ Club are collecting non-perishable food stuffs for Stoke on Trent’s homeless community this Christmas. Please get in touch if you can spare anything.
Eddie: I am one who was keen for Vale to make progress in the Checkatrade Trophy, a competition we have won on two previous occasions when it was under different names. For a team winning every game on the way to winning the title at Wembley it is possible to be richer by a mere £290000, in addition to the inevitable commercial spin-offs. Didn’t we want this?
Dan: The honeymoon period is well and truly over for Neil Aspin, but I do believe that he is the right choice to take Vale forward. The January transfer window will dictate whether we survive or go down. Let’s hope Aspin and Rudge get it right!
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.