Pope grateful for Adams support

Striker Tom Pope has thanked Port Vale boss Micky Adams for keeping faith with him last summer.

Last Updated: 07/05/13 at 13:49

Tom Pope: Loving life at Vale Park

Tom Pope: Loving life at Vale Park

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The 27-year-old ended the 2012/13 campaign as the top scorer in League Two with 31 goals as the Valiants gained automatic promotion, but the previous year the player netted just five times and some thought he would depart the club in the close season.

"To be truthful I think there were quite a few Vale supporters who would have been glad to see the back of me during the summer," Pope told the Sentinel. "Thankfully, Micky Adams gave me a one-year deal and I'll always be grateful for the faith he showed in me at that time.

"We were a different team last year. We didn't really have any wide players to speak of. Lewis Haldane was out injured and Rob Taylor kept having little niggles.

"All our play came through the middle of the park and when you're a bloke who likes to get on the end of crosses there wasn't much in the way of service for me.

"It makes such a difference for a striker like myself having good, creative wide players in the side. Jeno (Jennison Myrie-Williams) and Ashley Vincent will always cause problems for defences because of their trickery and pace.

"I've tried to stay more central, rather than doing lots of chasing around, and I've had good crosses coming in. Fortunately I've been able to put quite a few of them away."

Pope is now tied to the club for another two years after extending his contract and he said it would take a huge offer to tempt him away from Vale Park.

He added: "I've said before I'd like to see out my career here. I've probably got four or five good years left and I love the place.

"It would take an offer of silly money to tempt me away at this stage and, if that were to happen, then I'd obviously have to think about my family and see what's right for us."

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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

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