Port Vale boss John Askey shared his thoughts on the League Two season coming to an end whilst the Valiants were in such a good vein of form.
Vale were unbeaten in eight games and sat just one point and one place outside of the play-offs, before the outbreak of coronavirus led to the suspension of football in England.
“It’s really disappointing that the season has ended, a lot of hard work has been put in by a lot of people,” said the Vale boss.
“I feel for the supporters as well.”
“They could see how much we had improved as the season went on and we all felt that we’d got a great chance of getting into the play-offs.”
“The players are disappointed as well, they’ve got a great spirit about them and they just wanted to come back and finish the job.”
The EFL confirmed that the League Two season was to be concluded via an unweighted points per game system on Friday, meaning that Vale have just missed out on a spot in the play-offs, whilst no action has been taken in regards to League One’s conclusion as of yet.
“It’s difficult because money dictates in our league.”
“I was hoping that we could have seen how things were turning out, not only in football but across the country, because we can’t get back playing until League One has been decided.”
“However, we know the decision now and we’ve just got to get on with it, there’s no point looking back.”
“We’ve got to prepare for next season, but until the Championship and League One is decided, we just don’t know what is going to happen.”
Despite the disappointment of missing out on the play-offs, it has been a memorable season and the Vale boss was able to name a few of his highlights.
“Our first away win at Bradford was a big one.”
“The away win at Crewe, and the home games against Swindon, Forest Green and Colchester, but there’s a lot of games I’ve been happy with.”
With just eight defeats this season, the joint-second lowest in League Two, Vale are currently in a substantially better position than what they were last season, when they flirted with relegation for a long-period of the season.
“There’s been lots off improvements on and off the field.”
“You can see the improvements on the pitch, simply by the results.”
“It’s not easy for the players, a lot of whom were at the club last season, to turn it round as quickly as they have done, but they’ve been fantastic.”
“You could feel the momentum going in our favour, especially after January, we felt as though we could achieve something.”
“The main thing is that we were hard to beat, especially at home.”
Looking ahead towards next season, Askey feels that there is no reason as to why Vale can’t go one better and achieve promotion to League One.
“We’ve just got to keep doing what we believe in.”
“If the players put in the same effort as they have done this season and train in the same way, there’s no reason why we can’t go one step better.”
“It’s always difficult, because we know there are teams in our league who have got much bigger budgets then we have, so hopefully the players that we bring in can help to improve us, alongside the lads who have renewed their contracts.”
Port Vale has received national recognition for the work the club is carrying out in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, something that Askey is very proud of.
“All the credit goes to Carol and Kevin Shanahan who have come in and completely changed the club.”
“You have to be proud to work for Port Vale and I know that the supporters are proud of what the club is doing.”
“We’ve set an example to other clubs, because a football club should be a big part of the community and help where it can.”
“The fans have given us everything, so hopefully the football club has been able to give a little bit back.”
On behalf of all of us here at Port Vale Football Club, we thank you for your excellent home and away support throughout the season and look forward to seeing you back at Vale Park next season.