Port Vale's Tom Pope: Promotion success is my priority
TOM Pope would be happy to give up the golden boot if it meant winning promotion with Port Vale.
The leading scorer in the country made it 27 goals for the season in Thursday's 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon.
He's on course to become the first Vale player to hit the 30-goal mark since Andy Jones grabbed 37 in 1986/87.
But Pope says any goal-scoring records would be irrelevant unless the Valiants clinch promotion.
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"There's only one more ambition I've got and that's to win promotion with Port Vale," said the striker.
"That's something I've dreamed about for years and if we can achieve it, I'll be as happy as any fan.
"We could break all the records we want, win games and score goals, but it will all mean nothing to me if we don't reach League One."
Pope, aged 27, equalled Steve McPhee's recent record, set in 2003/04, when he netted at Kingsmeadow as Vale fought back from 2-0 down.
"It's great to score goals and that's something I've missed over the last two years," he said.
"I'm enjoying it, of course, but the goal at Wimbledon would have felt a lot nicer afterwards if we had earned the three points."
Pope, whose Vale deal runs out at the end of the season, could soon put an end to speculation by signing a new contract.
"I want to stay here and I think everyone knows that," he said.
"I'm in the form of my life at the club I love, so why would I want to go and play elsewhere?
"I'm sure people are sitting up and taking notice, but I don't let that worry me."
THE decision whether to change Vale's club crest could be announced tomorrow.
Almost 1,000 fans took part in a poll to decide if the existing badge should be replaced by the one initially used in 1956.