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Tom Pope sets his sights on a 'run' as the skipper looks ahead to Swindon Town.

23 November 2018

Port Vale welcome Swindon Town to Vale Park this weekend, and Tom Pope believes his side's next six fixtures can be crucial to determine where they will finish this season.

The captain has described Vale's 2018/19 campaign 'hit and miss' as his side currently sit 16th in the Sky Bet League Two Table with six wins, four draws and eight losses. 

Personally, Pope has a had an impressive start to the season sitting as Vale's top goalscorer of this campaign with eight goals, though Vale have struggled to support the captain with Luke Hannant closest to matching his tally with just the three goals.

With Swindon just around the corner, Pope believes that Vale's next six games are a huge opportunity to pick up points.

On Vale's current season, he said: "Hit and miss, which League Two pretty much always is to be honest. It always seemsto lack a bit of consistency from most teams. 

"We've been on some decent runs as well as some bad runs, but we've got a run of games now where we think we can go on another decent run so, starting Saturday against Swindon hopefully, we can start building towards a decent run again.

"We've had some real tough games, even on the run we went on. Playing the likes of Bury and going to Stevenage - places like that are always tough - Oldham, we picked up some great points.

"But now we've got your Swindons, your Cheltenhams, your Macclesfields where you can try and put a run together and certainly in the new year you can look at the table and see that your looking up rather than looking over your shoulders."

Pope has highlighted Marc Richards as a potential threat for The Valiants as the forward returns to Vale Park on this weekend's opposing side.

Richards represented Vale on over 180 occasions scoring 67 goals, and the captain believes the experienced forward can still be a danger to his side claiming that on his day, 'he's as good as anybody in the league'.

The former Vale striker hasn't hit the ground running so far this season, finding the net on just two occasions, however Pope is well aware of the danger the forward posseses and has warned his team mates to keep their eyes on the experienced forward.

He said: "He always scores scores goals and creates problems. He's a goalscorer - he always has been. On his day he's as good as anybody in the league so he is certainly going to be one that if he plays we'll have to keep our eyes on.

"He's a goalscorer and he's as strong as an ox. I think the one season I did have with him, he struggled a lot with his ankle. He didn't really train much - a bit like me now, they'd wheel him out on a Saturday and try do the best you could with him, but for him to carry on as long as he has.

"I thought he would've struggled but he had his operation and he scored two against us last season and he still looks a handful."


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