Port Vale: Paul Wildes dismisses talk of rift between Micky Adams and his players
PORT Vale chairman Paul Wildes has dismissed speculation suggesting Micky Adams has lost the support of his players.
Team unity has been questioned in some quarters after a month in which Vale have lost five of their seven matches in League Two, culminating in Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
But Wildes said yesterday: "I have seen some speculation that Micky has lost the dressing room, but that is rubbish.
"People are looking for any reason to explain our bad run, but this isn't one of them.
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"Micky is well respected by the players and Micky, in turn, respects his players.
"We are all in it together and that hasn't changed over the past couple of months."
Wildes also denied that the arrival of senior players such as Lee Hughes and Darren Purse had affected the dynamic of a team who fought against the odds to rise to the top of the table in the first half of the season.
Instead, he believes a dip in form across the squad has been to blame as Vale's buffer to fourth place and the play-off zone has been cut from 12 points to just two with eight games left.
Wildes, who spent yesterday with the Vale squad at Cheltenham races, added: "We were still winning games after we brought in the new signings in January.
"Darren Purse and Dan Jones have won both man-of-the-match awards in that time and Lee Hughes has scored five goals. They have strengthened the unit.
"We've just had a lot of players go out of form at the same time, and Micky is working hard to put that right.
"It's why we love football – if there was a magic formula it wouldn't be any fun.
"We've got eight cup finals to ensure promotion, and it will be exciting as well as nerve-wracking."
However, Wildes insists the club is prepared for any eventuality.
He explained: "I'm sure we only need one win to get us back on track, but even if the worst was to happen it would not be a financial disaster. We will be in good financial health whatever division we play in next season."
Adams hit out at criticism by some fans after Tuesday's defeat, and while Wildes supported his manager yesterday, he said he could understand the growing frustration of supporters.
"The fans want the club to be promoted. I understand that and Micky understands that," he said.
"The fans haven't seen that happen since 1994 and perhaps a few were expecting us to cruise over the line this season.
"There is a lot of pent up passion, not just from this season, but from sticking with the club through some tough times.
"Of course it doesn't help players' confidence if supporters get on their backs, but we know they are only doing it because they are desperate to see the team win."
Meanwhile, Ryan Burge's future with the club remains unclear after the midfielder failed to attend Vale's pre-match meal on Tuesday, then broke the club's social media guidelines to reveal on Twitter he had been told he was not needed just five minutes before arriving at the Memorial Ground.
Wildes said: "Ryan has been silly and we will deal with it internally.
"We have to remember he's a young lad. He's got it wrong on this occasion, but that doesn't mean he has no future at the club. That will be for Micky to decide."
There was good news concerning winger Ashley Vincent, who was carried off at Bristol Rovers with a suspected fractured tibia.
Wildes added: "We're still not sure if it's a fracture or not, but we are more optimistic about a quick recovery than we were.
"It could be a crack or a chip or maybe even just severe bruising, but he will be out for a couple of weeks."