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Tom Pope is full of confidence ahead of league opener this weekend at Vale Park

2 August 2018

As pre-season finally draws to a close, Tom Pope is now looking ahead to Vale's opener this weekend against Cambridge United and how the team are desperate to "right a wrong".

Neil Aspin has certainly had a busy summer bringing 12 new faces in to Vale Park in order to bolster his squad and the new arrivals have already made a big impact according to the Vale skipper.

Pope has been extremely impressed with the new lads during pre-season and looks forward to how they can improve the team even further.

He said: "I think we've brought a few lads in that have certainly made us better.

"Connell has looked excellent defensively, Manny has struggled with his injuries but he looks like he's going to be a big asset for us during the season, Joycey keeps the ball ticking over nicely."

"I do believe we've certainly got a stronger group this year."

One player that has certainly caught Pope's eye, is fellow striker, Ricky Miller.

Miller signed for the Valiants this summer from Peterborough United and hit the ground running with an impressive performance on his debut at home to Shrewsbury Town.

Pope explains how he is relishing partnering the striker up front and praises the new-boys work rate.

"He's like a dog, you could throw a ball for him and he'd just chase after it forever!

"He's got a great left foot, he can finish. He's shown all pre-season that his finishing is very good.

"I think we could get a massive partnership going."

Last time out against Cambridge, Aspin's side had a game to forget, having been overcome 5-0 at the Abbey Stadium.

The skipper explains how that game still haunts him today and he's desperate to right a wrong.

"It's going to be comletely different. I know for the lads that are still here from last season are still hurting, I know I am.

"You always try to go out on a high and certainly for the travelling fans that went that day, we didn't put on anywhere near the performance that we should have.

"It can't come soon enough for the lads that still remember that game, and we can go out there and hopefully right a wrong."


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