Valiants manager John Askey has described the work of NHS staff in Britain as ‘incredible.’
Askey was speaking about the current coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in the suspension of English football in March.
“There’s nothing more you can do than give your life to help somebody,” said the Port Vale boss.
“I think everybody in the country appreciates what they’re doing. It’s not only the doctors and nurses but everybody involved in the hospitals. We don’t realise, until something like this happens, how important the NHS is.”
The Vale manager has also stated his pride at the work the football club is doing in the local community, during the current crisis.
“We’ve been phoning round supporters to check they’re okay and I think everybody knows with Carol and Kevin in charge, that they’ve been doing a lot for the community and now we’re trying to do our bit.”
“I’m really proud with what the football club and the Hubb Foundation are trying to achieve.”
“There’s a lot of football clubs who, over the years, only contact supporters when they’re begging for money, which is the complete opposite way to which Vale is run.”
“Carol and Kevin have got be commended for the role that they have played in improving the football club and the local area.”
However, the Valiants boss is able to take his own personal positives from the current situation.
“I’m trying to make the best of the situation, it’s a terrible time for everybody, but I’m in a fortunate position that everybody in my family is okay.”
“It’s the first time in about thirty years that I’ve had a complete break!”
“It’s sounds bizarre and obviously I wouldn’t want the situation to be as it is, and I still miss the football and the fact that we were in a great position.”
“It’s nice to be able to have a break, but I don’t want it to last for much longer, and I’d be very happy if someone told me I was going back to work tomorrow!”
Despite appreciating the time off, Askey has revealed that there are lots of elements that he misses about the day-in, day-out management of his team.
“I miss going in and experiencing the banter!”
“I don’t miss the matchdays because the only thing that matters on those days is winning, and if you don’t win you’re on a bit of a downer.”
“The actual going in to training and seeing the players and staff, with the camaraderie that we have, it’s those sorts of things that you miss.”
The Vale boss believes that the best outcome would be that the season is completed by July.
“The best possible outcome would be that everybody gets back to work on 16th May, and we’d be able to get the season finished by the end of July, when the contracts run out.”
“If that doesn’t happen then it’s going to be a very difficult situation, because of the fact that players are coming to the end of their contracts, other clubs are going to offer players contracts and clubs aren’t going to want to pay contracts for players they don’t want.”
Askey also acknowledged that the season was suspended at an unfortunate time for his inform Valiants side, who sit just a point below the play-offs.
“We were third in the league form table for the last ten games.”
“We had a great opportunity of getting in the play-offs and it would’ve been a great season for us, especially if we could’ve got promoted, but we all acknowledge that there are more important things going on at the moment.”
And Askey was pleased to reveal that all the playing staff and are all sticking to their fitness regimes and keeping in contact with each other.
“They’re all behaving themselves, they’ve got no choice, the only thing they can do is keep themselves fit!”
“They’re desperate to get back and try and achieve something.”
“They all keep in touch with each other, they all get on well, and some of them are doing exercises together through Zoom so they can see each other through video and keep in contact with each other!”