It's been over 10 months now since John Askey took the reins at Vale Park, and the gaffer explains just how much it means to manage the club.
Askey became manager of Port Vale on the 4th February earlier this year, joining the club where his Dad, Colin Askey, became a club legend during the latter stages of the 1940’s and the majority of the 1950’s. Speaking on the club’s official podcast, ‘Talk of the Vale’, the gaffer describes how special it is managing a club that means so much to his family.
After things hadn’t worked out for the gaffer at Shrewsbury Town in 2018, Askey was out of work at the time Neil Aspin left Port Vale and he emphasised that it was a job where he felt he could help the club at that particular time, proving himself right since.
With the Valiants in a relegation scrap at the time of Askey’s appointment, he didn’t get off to the best of starts results wise, yet he looks back at what he describes as ‘the turning point’ of the 2018-19 season.
“When I got the opportunity to become manager, it meant a great deal, because obviously Port Vale is a club that I’ve known from when I can remember, obviously with my dad having a great time at the club and being local, it meant a great deal to me, and it still does. He loves being able to come now and it means a great deal to all the family, and we just want Port Vale to do well, to have the honour of being manager is something I never really thought I’d get the chance to do.
“I was in a position where I was out of work and you start hearing things that Neil wanted out and you’re thinking that if the job does become available, it’s something I’d like to take and felt I was in a position where I could help, and that proved to be the case. We needed everybody on board, and it was important that we didn’t go in and start upsetting people because it wasn’t a huge squad, we knew we needed everybody.
“When we went in, there were things going on that I’ve never heard going on at a football club before, it seems as though something we had to deal with every week was nothing to do with football, so that was hard.
“Luckily for us, Carol and Kevin looked as though they were going to take the club over, and the protests and Notts County, and that changed everything we went to Notts County and the crowd really got behind us, everybody was as one, and the players responded and put in a really good performance even if it was a draw, that was the turning point."
As a year in charge fast approaches for John Askey, the gaffer looks back on his favourite memories so far as manager of the club.
He explains that walking through the front doors for the first time and the realisation he was manager stands out amongst most, but also last season’s 1-0 win at home to Crewe sprung to mind.
The gaffer then went on to talk about his favourite away days since he’s been at the club, going back to that Notts County draw, as well as Crewe and Bradford with the latter being the side’s first away win in the league this campaign.
“Walking through the door and being manager is probably the most enjoyable, but also that Crewe game when we played well and we knew we were safe, a fantastic finish from Tom [Pope] with his left foot.
“It was great to win the game and fantastic atmosphere and it was sort of relief that we had done it really.
“Notts County was great, I thought that was the change, although we didn’t know it at the time it felt as though something had changed. Northampton was a great day, it was brilliant, and this season Bradford away, Crewe away, it’s always nice to beat Crewe isn’t it, that was another special one."
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