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January Review

January Review

January began badly, with a supine defeat at home to Fleetwood Town on New Year`s Day. (Fleetwood celebrated this win by losing their next two games, including a thumping 3-0 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers.) Micky Adams showed himself commendably unmoved by the Fleetwood defeat and since then the team has gone on to thrash Plymouth Argyle, win at Gillingham and come back from 2-0 down to draw against AFC Wimbledon. I don`t think these games have told us anything new.

Vale`s strengths - pace, the ability to make and take chances - and their weaknesses, the inability to keep clean sheets, the lack of a physical presence in central midfield have been apparent all season. On the evidence of the Wimbledon game, the perennial left back problem appears to have been solved.

Purse has added strength and leadership (if not pace) at the back. I am less convinced by Hughes, but there is not a lot of evidence to go on yet. The League 2 table has a curious look about it in some ways. Gillingham went back to the top after their recent home win against Northampton Town, but that was their first win at home in the league since 20 October. The natives have seemed rather less enamoured of Martin Allen than Sky Sports.

Exeter City also have a very poor home record. Burton Albion and Northampton Town both have away records that do not suggest they are capable of achieving automatic promotion. Bradford City are a strong team, but their league form recently has suffered amid their great cup run. Much will depend on how they respond after the Capital Cup Final and to the inevitable fixture congestion.

Vale`s next two games, both at home, look eminently winnable, but both are against teams that have given us trouble in the past and, in AFC Wimbledon`s case, the very recent past. Let`s pray for dry weather.

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Writer:Tom
Date:Friday February 1 2013
Time: 11:22AM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Wigan 44 23 15 6 84 36
2 Burton 44 24 9 11 81 19
3 Walsall 44 22 12 10 78 15
4 Millwall 44 22 9 13 75 20
5 Bradford 44 21 11 12 74 12
6 Barnsley 44 21 7 16 70 13
7 Gillingham 44 19 12 13 69 17
8 Scunthorpe 44 19 11 14 68 10
9 Sheff Utd 44 18 12 14 66 9
10 Rochdale 44 18 11 15 65 6
11 Port Vale 44 18 11 15 65 4
12 Coventry 44 17 12 15 63 14
13 Southend 44 16 11 17 59 -4
14 Peterborough 44 17 6 21 57 4
15 Bury 44 15 12 17 57 -15
16 Swindon 44 15 10 19 55 -10
17 Oldham 44 12 18 14 54 -9
18 Chesterfield 44 14 8 22 50 -13
19 Shrewsbury 44 13 11 20 50 -17
20 Fleetwood 44 11 15 18 48 -4
21 Blackpool 44 12 10 22 46 -15
22 Doncaster 44 11 12 21 45 -14
R Colchester 44 9 12 23 39 -41
R Crewe 44 6 13 25 31 -37
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