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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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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Sheff Utd 34 20 8 6 68 26
2 Scunthorpe 33 17 10 6 61 25
3 Fleetwood 34 17 10 7 61 18
4 Bolton 32 17 7 8 58 17
5 Bradford 34 13 16 5 55 12
6 Southend 34 14 11 9 53 10
7 Millwall 33 14 10 9 52 7
8 Peterborough 34 14 8 12 50 3
9 Oxford 32 14 7 11 49 9
10 Rochdale 32 14 6 12 48 2
11 Bristol Rovers 34 12 11 11 47 -2
12 Walsall 34 11 13 10 46 -3
13 Wimbledon 33 10 13 10 43 1
14 Charlton 33 9 15 9 42 5
15 MK Dons 33 11 9 13 42 1
16 Northampton 34 11 7 16 40 -7
17 Gillingham 34 9 12 13 39 -9
18 Shrewsbury 34 10 8 16 38 -12
19 Bury 34 10 7 17 37 -10
20 Oldham 34 8 12 14 36 -12
21 Port Vale 32 8 10 14 34 -17
22 Swindon 34 8 9 17 33 -16
23 Chesterfield 34 7 7 20 28 -25
24 Coventry 33 5 10 18 25 -23
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