So far so good for new-look Valiants

Six goals scored and fifth in the league after three games. I dare say most people would have taken that before the season kicked off.

Yes, we were beaten away at Accrington but, from what those who were there tell me, it was a game we could and should have won.

What’s perhaps most pleasing about the start we’ve made is that the team minus Marc Richards and Sean Rigg is creating lots of chances and hitting the net.

While I was disappointed to see both strikers leave during the summer – along with the workhorse that is Anthony Griffith – I never thought it was the end of the world.

I like Rico. He did a good job for us and so I’m not going to criticise him.

However, as is perhaps being exposed now, I think the Vale of recent seasons relied too heavily on him to score goals.

We played through him and to him – often at the expense of other strikers whose confidence ebbed away as a result.

By the same token, I think Sean Rigg flattered to deceive. Sure, he had a purple patch towards the end of the season (shop window time), but very often struggled to hit a barn door.

To be fair to him, however, he always put in a shift when asked to play as a makeshift winger and was sometimes our most creative player.

Griff was loved by Vale supporters because he always gave 100 per cent – which is why we forgave him for not being able to pass.

Yes, his passing did improve, but let’s be honest – we will remember Griff mainly for his workrate and well-timed tackles.

This new Vale team will take a few more games to gel properly but the signs are encouraging.

I’m not too worried about our defence because I think it’s solid and Chris Neal looks like a goalkeeper we can have a bit of confidence in at last – something I’ve not had since Goodlad was between the sticks.

As always, of course, goals will be crucial and I’m pleased we are scoring from different areas of the park and that Tom Pope has bagged a couple already.

If he carries on in this vein then there will soon be some Vale fans with egg on their faces.

The bottom line is this: Thanks to Keith Ryder’s bizarre disappearing trick we are still in administration and a winning Port Vale team is far more attractive to potential buyers than one languishing at the bottom of League Two.

So far so good, then. Keep it up, boys.

Read my Port Vale articles every Friday during the season in The Sentinel


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