But Grew says all the squad have played their part in Vale's good start
Assistant Manager Mark Grew yesterday praises the efforts of nine-goal striker Tom Pope, but was quick to point out that he isn’t the only oneA who deserves credit for Vale’s good start to the season.
He said: “The Gaffer had a little pop at him at half time on Saturday. He told him he wasn’t winning enough headers for us, but he stuck the ball in the back of the net.
“Tom is big enough and strong enough and in the second half I thought he competed and his work rate was phenomenal.
“Every one of their coaching staff said after the game they had never seen ‘Popey’ like this before. They had never seen a Tom Pope that chases things and harasses people like that.
“He’s like the old fashioned centre forward who doesn’t give defenders time on the ball and the lad has done excellent this season, but so have all the other lads, they have worked very hard as well.
“Tom realised when Marc Richard left the club he was probably going to be our number one striker and he wanted to prove to the gaffer that his fitness levels are high.
“We laugh and joke about it, but he did a pre-season with the Sneyd Arms football team and he came back as fresh as I have ever seen Tom Pope.
“As a result of the work he did in pre-season his fitness levels have gone up and his performances have proved you get what you deserve.
“Everybody deserves credit for the start we have made to the season and it’s not down to any one individual.
“It’s great for Tom, he has got nine goals, but there has been a lot of hard work done by other players. It’s a team game and the whole twenty have put the work in.”