An encouraging win but boss must keep it up

THE lesson here, of course, is to keep your powder dry.
On Tuesday, a Vale fan texted me saying he hoped we’d “get stuffed” by Rotherham and Wycombe so we’d get rid of “that clown”.
Another proclaimed Jim Gannon to be the worst manager in Vale’s history.
No matter what the situation, I can never hope we get beaten. It’s just unnatural.
Neither do I reckon Gannon is our worst manager.
Granted, the new gaffer’s team selections, tactics and substitutions during his first five games have left me scratching my head.
It is also fair to say that some of his comments haven’t gone down too well either.
His veiled attack on protesting fans did him no favours, and there is a perception his approach with the team has been rather like a bull in a china shop.
The fact that a deputation of players felt the need to go to the board of directors to voice their concerns about the new gaffer and his management style speaks volumes.
Gannon inherited a team who were third in League Two. By his own admission, not making the play-offs from that position would be a failure.
Before Tuesday, I couldn’t see where a goal was coming from – let alone a win.
Neither could I understand the 4-2-3-1 formation or the need to play two defensive midfielders in front of the back four when at home.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by the way the players came out against Rotherham. Not only did they look fired up, we also played some decent stuff at times.
In fact, were we not so powder-puff up front we’d have beaten a decent team with ease.
I still think we should find room for playmaker Gary Roberts alongside a combative midfielder, and I could argue the toss about who should start as an attacking option along with Rob Taylor if Marc Richards is injured.
But I can’t really criticise the gaffer if we continue to win matches – with the emphasis on the word “continue”.
I doubt the rift between manager and players is completely healed, but Tuesday night must have helped in that regard. I know I prefer clapping, motivating Jim Gannon to the shouty bloke I saw against Barnet.
What is most encouraging for me right now is the rapport that exists between this squad of players and our fans. Ultimately, our 12th man could be the difference come May.

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