Striker expecting another tough game
Striker Tom Pope is well aware of what last season’s League One Champions are capable of and knows the Gills will believe they can put a dampener on Vale’s play-off ambitions.
Weather permitting, Vale take on the Gills at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday, from where returned with all three points last season, but he knows it will be another tough game.
He said: “I think every team that is down there wants to go on a run and try and get out, you have only got to look at Crewe.
“They go on a run where they don’t win for five or six games and then they go and beat MK Dons, who were the best side we have played this year, they were fantastic at their place.
“Everybody is going to beat everybody, it is going to be one of those seasons and we have shown that we are capable of beating anybody and capable of losing to anybody.
“If we are not focussed right then certainly in this league we will get punished, so we have just got to keep working hard for one another and keep grafting and hopefully we will win more than we lose.
“Gillingham are similar to ourselves – they work hard and try to get it into the front men and when you have got somebody as big as Akinfenwa up top, I think they will look to use that.
“Gillingham have never been an MK Dons type or a Crewe type or a Brighton type, they like to get the ball forward early and get players running off the big man, so we know what to expect from them.
“They showed last season when we played them here, they can be a really good side and we are not going to go down there expecting to win the game.
“We are expecting a really tough battle, it is never an easy place to go, but I think if we apply ourselves right and play to our strengths, we have got a good chance.”