Tomorrow the Vale open up their 2014/15 League One campaign with a tasty home derby against West Midland rivals Walsall. Needless to say, last seasons top scorer Tom Pope can’t wait to get started with a win and hopefully score a few goals in the process.
Pope said: “Last season, I think people thought we’d struggle, but I managed to get 16 even though I got off to a slow start with injuries, and then got injured at the end of the season as well.
“It wasn’t really a bad return, but if I can stay fit, with the wingers we’ve bought in and the midfielders we’ve bought in, I can score a few goals
“I’m confident if those players can create chances for me, I can put them away and I think the games against Bolton and West Brom showed that”
Pope feels that it is going to be a long season, but if the Valiants can get off to a good start than there’s no reason they can’t do well.
He continued: “It’s always nice to win your first match because you’ve worked hard all pre-season, ran up all those hills, done a lot of double sessions. We’ve done all that work and now I can’t wait.”
“Saturday will be day one of a long season. When you’ve put all that effort in, it’s always nice to get off to a good start. I think it’s the teams that get off to a good start that have a good season.
“We have tough start to the season. If we can get some good results and be in and around the mix then it’ll be a good season for us.”
The local lad, especially as a Vale fan, will be looking to get one over a Walsall side under Dean Smith that play some good football from the back.
“The couple of times we’ve played Walsall we’ve been able to tell, they are a side that play a lot of football in a fancy way.
“As pretty as it is, last year we showed that if we can get at them and work hard as a team with togetherness, then we’ll get chances.
“Certainly at their place we did that and we were the better side at home as well.
“Even with the number of good footballers they’ve got, if we can get in their faces and work hard together as a team, we have enough quality players in the side now, that we can cause them problems.”
You will be able to view the interview with Tom Pope in full on Valiant PLAYER later today.