View From the Bycars
On the pitch it was not quite the shambles we saw against Swindon Town and Crewe Alexandra, but it was still pretty much Groundhog Day. Pope strove valiantly, but got no support from the wide players or from the midfield and, as at Vale Park, he was constantly fouled by the egregious Stearman. Tom did not help his case by missing an absolute sitter in the first half. This was the only real chance we created and that came from a Wolves mistake seized on by Knott, who was excellent in the first half, but faded in the second. It is difficult to criticise Loft. He always gives 100 per cent effort, but he has no tactical sense and spends too much time chasing the ball, which leaves acres of space for the opposition to exploit. Every time we gave the ball away in the final third, with Dodds and Lines the chief culprits, the opposition ran straight through us. With better finishing Wolves would have put the game to bed by half time. We could not cope with the muscular Sako, who really needs to look in the mirror and ask himself why he is even playing in League 1. The second and third Wolves goals came about as a result of Vale defenders being unable to cope with the physical presence of their opponents.
Fifty-one points stayed up in League 1 last season. Vale currently have 43. Three more wins ought to ensure safety. But we are definitely in a slump. Including the Brighton game, we have conceded three goals on five occasions in the last eight games. And in most of these games Neal was our best player, as he was yesterday. The manager seems at a loss how to put this right.