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Ricky Miller: "If you could write an opening day start, that would be it."

5 August 2018

Ricky Miller ensured it was an opening day to remember on Saturday afternoon as he played an integral part in Vale's 3-0 victory over Cambridge United.

The striker scored a spectacular free-kick in first half stoppage time to spearhead Neil Aspin's men to all three points, and Miller insists he was always confident of finding the net on his Vale debut.

He said: "As soon as I got brought down, nobody else was going to take it. I've scored a few of them in my time and as soon as it went over the wall I knew it was in.

"That gave us a good platform for the second half. It was a positive first 45 minutes, but it was the opening day so you expect some touchy patches.

"The goal set us up perfectly and we took full advantage of that. For the penalty, myself and Popey linked up well on the edge of the box and it was a definite penalty - if I hadn't have been brought down, I would've scored.

"If you could write an opening day start, that would be it. It was a brilliant day for us, but we can't get carried away and we will be back in on Monday so we can build up to next Saturday."

Tom Pope had a fruitful afternoon too as he bagged a brace in what was a commanding second half display, and Miller admitted that he enjoyed his role in the newly formed striking partnership.

Having only joined the club this summer, the 29-year-old is looking forward to playing as many games as possible following a difficult 2017/18 campaign, and he hopes all of the Vale players can make an impact.

He said: "Popey has got a good footballing brain and so have I, so it doesn't take much time to build an understanding. He knows what he should be doing and I work around him so there are positive signs.

"He is lucky that he can head the ball because he is a head on a stick, but it works well and I am looking forward to playing with him.

"Obviously it was a tough time for me last year and I was quite passionate about playing today. It has been a long summer, but I have worked really hard and it meant a lot to me. 

"I would like to say thank you very much to the fans, and we will back in again next week. The game is over now and we switch our focus quickly on to the next one."

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