Martin Tideswell: There are anxious times ahead, but we WILL go up
IT WOULD be the easiest thing in the world right now to be negative; To condemn the manager and the players for the recent poor run of form.
But, for me, the glass is still half full. I don't see any value at this juncture in laying into a team who still sit second in the League Two table with a goal difference of plus 29.
As anyone who follows Vale knows, we never do things the easy way, so I suspect supporters will have to grit their teeth and cross their fingers until the final game of the season.
Love hurts, as Roy Orbison was oft heard to say, but Vale fans will doubtless keep the faith with this team forged out of adversity.
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I never thought we'd win the league, but I do think we will still secure automatic promotion with five wins and a couple of draws from the remaining games.
Tuesday's goalless draw with Bradford City – a team, don't forget, who were playing in a Wembley cup final a couple of weeks ago – at least stopped the rot.
On another night, the Pontiff would have had a hat-trick and I expect normal service to be resumed soon and a visiting team at Vale Park to be on the end of a good hiding.
Remember that the teams in the chasing pack can't win every game and have to play each other in the coming weeks.
Our players need to forget all about the Cheltenhams, Rotherhams, Burtons and Exeters and concentrate on what they did so well earlier in the season. Even without skipper Doug Loft, whose tackle on Tuesday night was no less rash than the one which earned Sam Morsy a red card earlier in the season, we are hardly short of options in midfield.
For me, both Morsy and Ryan Burge warrant a starting place in order to help us win the crucial midfield battles – as does the excellent Louis Dodds who, in my opinion, is the best man to play off Tom Pope.
If the gaffer doesn't believe Ashley Vincent is doing the business then can I be cheeky and suggest he gives Ben Williamson a start instead?
Williamson's goals return compared to that of, say, Calvin Andrew is far superior and his pace will always cause teams problems.
I guess my point is that the manager has choices – thanks to the support of the new owners in the transfer market.
Now he just has to make the right ones.