Hard to not get carried away as Vale juggernaut rumbles on

It’s hard not to get carried away right now. It really is. I just can’t help it.

As much as I try to keep things in perspective, Vale’s performances on the pitch of late have me dreaming of promotion parties and trips to Wembley.

It’s been so good, so riveting and so surprising that I’ve managed to put the fact that we are still in administration to the back of my mind.

We’ve been starved of success or even decent football and worn down by off-the-field woes for so long that the team’s heroics are simply the perfect antidote.

That a side stitched together on a relative shoestring budget against a backdrop of turmoil can be sitting second in the league and with 23 points already on the board in the middle of October is truly remarkable and genuinely inspiring.

That we have dumped not one but two League One teams out of the Paint Pot Trophy is testament to the new-found confidence in the dressing room.

I dare say a Vale side going two-nil down away from home last season or the year before would have gone on to lose three or four nil.

Not this lot. They don’t seem to know when they’re beaten.

Even when Sir Micky of Boslem rests half the team our fringe players come in and play a blinder.

There are so many positives that it’s hard to know where to start.

The win away at promotion hopefuls Exeter showed the rest of the division that there’s a new sheriff in town and it ain’t Jamie Cureton.

That the top striker in England is a lad from Sneyd Green who grew up supporting the Vale is just the icing on the cake.

I couldn’t be more pleased for Tom Pope who has worked his socks off and looks leaner and sharper than any striker Vale have had for years.

The clanger at home to Dagenham aside, in Chris Neal we have a top drawer ’keeper who underlined his ability with a terrific one-handed save which protected our two-goal lead and prevented an anxious climax to Saturday’s game.

Then there’s teenage goalie Sam Johnson – drafted in to fill Neal’s rather big boots on Tuesday night.

His debut away at Walsall was Boy’s Own stuff, it really was.

To save three penalties then have the bottle to step up and score the winner is a hell of thing to have on your CV at 19.

But my final praise this week must be reserved for Vale’s astounding away following – by far the best in the division – which is a much-underrated 12th man.

Thanks in no small part to them, the juggernaut rolls on.

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

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