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Gaffer's Thoughts ahead of final test of Sky Bet League Two season

8 May 2021

Find the Gaffer's latest programme notes below, ahead of our final game of the season against Mansfield Town.

Valiants,

The season ends with our league status safely secured, the objective I was set upon arriving at the club and accepting the position of Port Vale manager.

While the first seven games did not produce a win, the players’ effort, commitment and desire to remove themselves from the lower reaches of the table was apparent from the get-go. There were a few games during that period where we should have taken three points, but talk is cheap – you have to earn the win.

To then go and record six consecutive victories, I am told for the first time since the John Rudge era in 1996, was extremely pleasing. It was just reward for the hard work that had gone on both behind the scenes and on the training ground to enjoy a nine-game unbeaten run.

That run ended in Grimsby and provided a timely reminder that there will be days where you have significantly more chances and possession than the opposition but take nothing out of the game. That is normal. It is how you react and show leadership during these moments that sets you apart as a team and allows you to progress.

We have made progress in the short-term, but I must emphasise that there is a long road ahead. I am hopeful however based on the performances our team has produced towards the tail end of the season, that you will be with us all the way.

I would also like to congratulate everyone who has contributed to Port Vale winning the EFL Community Club of the Year award, from club staff to volunteers, it really is a huge achievement. Hats off to Rudgey once again also, on his recently awarded Contribution to League Football award, it’s thoroughly deserved.

Best wishes and enjoy your summer as much as you can – we all deserve a break.

Darrell Clarke


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