Chris Lines says Vale's style of play suits him down to the ground
Vale midfielder Chris Lines feels Vale’s way of playing suits not only himself, but the whole team from a defensive point of view, with ball retention a big factor.
He says: “To me, I think if you are going to pass the ball it makes it a lot easier, it makes defending even easier because if you keep the ball the other team are running around and they are going to be tired.
“If we are constantly pumping the ball forward and it is coming back at us, then that is going to leave us open.
“You saw it the other day, we were patient against Leyton Orient when they had ten men. We kept passing, whether it was backwards, forwards or sideways, it didn’t matter because in the end they got tired and in the end we got three goals.
“That was from passing the ball, it wasn’t from lumping the ball forward, it wasn’t from hoofing it down the channels, it was through keeping the ball.
“If you keep the ball the other team haven’t got I t, so in a way you could say that it is probably easier defensively if you are going to pass the ball, because you don’t want the other team to have the ball.
“Especially away from home you have got to keep the ball. I am sure Colchester will come out fast in the first twenty minutes, so when we have got the chance we have got to keep the ball.
“When we are going forward we are getting goals from a few different people and that is important.”
With Tom Pope now out injured and unlikely to play any part in first team affairs for a number of weeks, it is important that the goals are shared around the whole team, but how does Chris Lines feel Vale will do without their top goal scorer?
“From my point of view, I prefer to play the ball on the ground, so for me it is going to more the wide men who are going to have to alter the way they play.
“Earlier in the season we were knocking the ball wide, getting it into the box for Popey to get his head on, but when Pagey took over he said we don’t need to be crossing the ball from silly angles or anywhere on the pitch even if Tom is on.
“Because we have got the ability to play round and if you play it in to feet, Ben Williamson is a prime example – get the ball in to his feet then he will hold it and then he will get into the box.
“It doesn’t really affect me and Oaky (Michael O’Connor) in the middle, because we tend to want to play to the strikers’ feet anyway.
“But for the likes of Dicko and Yatesy and the other players playing wide, you can’t just crossing aimless balls in now because to be fair to Tom, you could probably put an aimless ball in and nine times out of ten he would win the header anyway.
“It is something we will work on, because now we haven’t got him we are going to have to play it a bit more to feet, but then again we did that against Leyton Orient and we won three-nil.”