Pope gives honest assessment
Striker Tom Pope is hoping for better delivery from wide positions as he aims to score his first goal of the new season.
Micky Adams’ side welcome Bradford City to Vale Park on Saturday (3pm) with the Valiants searching for their first win of the season.
Pope admits Vale let everybody down following the 1-0 defeat at Colchester last Saturday and is eager to make amends against the Yorkshire side.
“On Saturday we pretty much let everybody down with the performance that we put in.
“The balls into me haven’t been great, I haven’t really had a chance in three games to be honest.
“Part of that might be down to us not getting hold of the ball and then when we have got hold of the ball and when we’ve got it wide we’ve either hesitated or not put it in with any decent quality,” Pope told Valiant Player.
Pope, who scored 31 league goals last season has become a marked man, with many teams opting to double-up on him in an attempt to mark him out the game.
The 27-year-old forward admits he and his strike partner Gavin Tomlin are as much to blame as anybody else for the lack of goals.
Pope is confident that if he gets consistent delivery from wide areas he will start to add to his goal tally.
Pope explained: “Sides are going to be aware of the threat that we possess, obviously having a year like last year I’m sure they will be keeping a close eye on me, we need to move the ball quicker and get people dragged out of positions and try and exploit the gaps that they leave.
“I am sure the gaffer is going to look at the personnel and look at the shape, hopefully we can put it right on Saturday.”
Pope admitted: “We’re just as much to blame, I am not sitting here blaming everybody else because I probably haven’t won enough headers, haven’t got hold of the ball as well as I’d have liked and neither has Gavin (Tomlin).
“As long as we keep getting it wide and keep getting it in there then there’s no doubt I will get on the end of one.”
Bradford City enjoyed promotion through the League 2 play-offs last season as well as reaching the Capital One Cup final after beating Premier League sides Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa before eventually losing to Swansea City.
“Bradford are going to be a real strong physical side, they play to their strengths they’ll have Wells buzzing in and around and threatening in behind.
"Their finish to the season showed what a decent side they are, so it’s going to be a tough game but that’s to be expected we’re in League 1, we’re going to have to be on our game.” he said.
Matchday information, including ticketing, parking and first-time guides can be found here.