Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell believes that Port Vale have shown that they can operate without their talisman Tom Pope. Pope who recently celebrated his 100th goal for the Valiants, to become only the third player in history of the club to accomplish that feat has had his problems with injury in the past – but Artell says that our near neighbours have learned how to cope with his loss a lot better.
The vastly experienced, Pope, 33, has still scored a superb 12 goals in 35 appearances this season and he only has good things to say about his time as a Crewe Alexandra player.
Ahead of this weekend’s A500 derby, the Alex boss said: “When Tom has been injured and not playing it would probably put the fear of God into Port Vale fans and give the opposition a lift not to see him on the team-sheet but Port Vale has learned to cope without him better.
“They have shown they can do it and (Ricky) Miller has done well in his absence.
“Has Tom done enough to be back in the team? That isn’t my decision, that is up to John Askey and we will have to wait and see when the team sheet goes in.
“Whoever plays for Port Vale, I will back my players against any team in this league. If we show our quality then we know that we can compete with the very best in the division and we won’t be thinking any differently on Saturday.”