It’s goals or bust for Vale from now on

Thank God for the Pope, that’s what I say.
Tuesday night’s gutsy late equaliser by Sneyd Green’s finest may well prove to be crucial come the final reckoning on May 7.
It also went some way to papering over the cracks of a tepid performance which had promised so much only to spectacularly fizzle out.
In truth, Vale were poor against Hereford and – on paper – it looks like two points dropped.
However, that view doesn’t take into account the events of the last few months – or even the preceding 24 hours – and, with hindsight, I can understand why it was such a patchy performance.
I think the euphoria surrounding the departure of Happy Harry the day before raised expectations for the game against a team with a decent away record.
That, combined with the impromptu huddle of players and staff before kick-off, had many of us expecting blood, thunder and a convincing home win.
I sat with Jonny Wilkes who predicted a Vale victory with all the confidence of a man who hadn’t seen what Jim Gannon’s tenure had done to the squad.
“This is Micky’s team,” he said. “They look really up for it.”
I didn’t disagree. Yours truly had us down for a three – one win.
As it was, the return of players frozen out by the unpopular manager turned out to be something of a damp squib.
Gary Roberts, Louis Dodds and Anthony Griffiths were rusty and all of them off-the-pace at times.
In fairness, they were bound to have lost some sharpness while Gannon was picking inferior players or loanees who weren’t match fit to take their places.
It was a dour game but there are positives to be drawn from it.
A draw was probably a fair result on the night and the nicking of a point at the death will have lifted the players whose confidence looks fragile in the wake of the recent madness at Vale Park.
It is also evident that, whatever turmoil has enveloped the club, the players and coaching staff are now united and the supporters are right behind them.
Interestingly, the fans never got on the players’ backs despite the sloppy passing and mistakes.
Personally, I hope Grewy starts with Tom Pope up front and Rob Taylor on the left wing tomorrow as I think both present a genuine goal threat and add pace and steel to the attack.
We have to start scoring goals again because If we don’t make the play-offs it won’t matter to me whether we finish 8th or 14th.

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