Port Vale: Louis Dodds aiming to help Vale fire again
COMEBACK kid Louis Dodds says his telepathic relationship with Tom Pope can deliver the goals Vale need to seal promotion.
The Valiants were unable to find the net against Bradford on Tuesday when 26-year-old Dodds made his first start since New Year's Day.
But the forward is confident he can rekindle his dynamic partnership with 27-goal Pope, who has now gone eight games without scoring.
"We worked really well together at the start of the season," he said.
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"We know each other inside and out, so hopefully it can flourish again and we can get the wins and the points we need to stay on track."
Dodds has scored seven goals in 31 appearances for Vale this season. And Pope has scored 15 of his haul while Dodds has been on the pitch.
The pair have started 24 games together.
Dodds says there is no panic that his friend, who still sits five goals clear at the top of the League Two scoring charts, has been suffering a dry spell over the past month.
He added: "Earlier in the season I didn't score for a while then scored a scruffy one at Cheltenham (to spark a run of three goals in three games).
"It's what you need sometimes when you are not firing on all cylinders, one to go in off your backside.
"Tom's a good player and he'll turn it around."
Dodds is now optimistic he can hold down his place in the front line, despite competition from Lee Hughes, who lost his spot through illness last month.
He said: "It was nice to get almost 90 minutes under my belt against Bradford.
"Hopefully I've done enough to start again."
The draw on Tuesday keeps Vale second in League Two, two points behind leaders Gillingham and four clear of fourth-placed Rotherham with 10 games remaining.
Dodds said: "It's make or break time now. It's a busy period, but it's exciting."