Plenty of reasons to be optimistic as Roy’s big day looms


Today preferred bidders Paul Wildes and Norman Smurthwaite will be being put through their paces by the Football League.
From the noises we are hearing this should just be a formality but it’s anyone’s guess how soon after this process the deal will finally be approved.
Hopefully it will happen within a few days because the one fear that’s been nagging at many of us during a terrific start to the season has now materialised.
A few injuries and the suspension of key players has exposed just how thin Vale’s squad is and the lifting of the transfer embargo/limit of 20 registered players can’t come soon enough.
There’s no need to panic just yet, however, as players like Doug Loft are close to a return and, as much as the manager may feel the need to dip into the transfer market to bring in one or two new faces, there’s a lot to be said for the spirit of a tight-knit squad.
It’s very sad when anyone suffers a bad injury, as happened to Northampton’s Alex Nicholls last Saturday.
While wishing the striker a speedy recovery I’d like to echo Micky Adams’s sentiments and say there’s never been any malice in John McCombe’s play and clearly what happened was an unfortunate accident.
Boom is a firm but fair player who has formed a decent partnership at the heart of the defence and we’re going to miss him while he serves his suspension.
We are indeed down to the bare bones now in terms of defensive options but the core of the team remains and there’s no reason why we can’t win our FA Cup tie and get three points against Rochdale on Tuesday night.
I don’t know what I was more surprised about last weekend. The fact that we got beat or the fact we didn’t score.
Thankfully we had put enough daylight between us and the chasing pack that even after a draw and a loss we’re still sitting second with a two point cushion and a goal difference of plus 17.
We’re in a fantastic position: Thirty points on the board at the end of October is a heck of a start and gives us a great platform for the rest of the season.
Once the takeover is approved then Micky Adams’s hand can only be strengthened and I’m certain we will be in the mix come the final reckoning in May.
What’s more, very soon the current crop of players will have their very own club talisman watching over them every time they arrive at the ground on a match day.
At 1.30pm on November 17 Roy Sproson’s statue will finally be unveiled after 11 long years of fund-raising and campaigning by too many people to mention.
It is the never-say-die spirit of this project, and indeed the club’s greatest servant himself, that they should seek to emulate as they push for promotion.
The Sproson statue day is important on so many levels and symbolically draws a line in the sand after a terrible few years for Port Vale.
As we all look to the future, the completion of the Sproson statue project will underline the fact we are a club with a proud heritage. One that was worth fighting for.

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