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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.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 46 30 10 6 100 45
P Bolton 46 25 11 10 86 32
3 Scunthorpe 46 24 10 12 82 26
4 Fleetwood 46 23 13 10 82 21
5 Bradford 46 20 19 7 79 19
6 Millwall 46 20 13 13 73 9
7 Southend 46 20 12 14 72 17
8 Oxford 46 20 9 17 69 13
9 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 9
10 Bristol Rovers 46 18 12 16 66 -2
11 Peterborough 46 17 11 18 62 0
12 MK Dons 46 16 13 17 61 2
13 Charlton 46 14 18 14 60 7
14 Walsall 46 14 16 16 58 -7
15 Wimbledon 46 13 18 15 57 -3
16 Northampton 46 14 11 21 53 -13
17 Oldham 46 12 17 17 53 -13
18 Shrewsbury 46 13 12 21 51 -17
19 Bury 46 13 11 22 50 -12
20 Gillingham 46 12 14 20 50 -20
R Port Vale 46 12 13 21 49 -25
R Swindon 46 11 11 24 44 -22
R Coventry 46 9 12 25 39 -31
R Chesterfield 46 9 10 27 37 -35
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