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"We Have To Stop Tom Pope At Source"

3 April 2019

Tom Pope is difficult to contain if his service is good, says first team coach Alex Morris.

Crewe Alexandra’s first team coach Alex Morris says that it is always difficult to stop Port Vale’s talisman Tom Pope because he is ‘very good at what he does’.

Pope, 33, recently celebrated his 100th goal for his beloved Valiants with a crucial winning penalty at Northampton and became only the third Port Vale player to reach that wonderful milestone.

Crewe fans know all about the effectiveness of Pope after he scored 17 goals for us early on in his career. Talent spotter Neil Baker was prepared to take a punt on the then Biddulph Victoria striker and he was later sold for £150,000 to Rotherham United when Gudjon Thordarson was manager.

Ahead of this weekend’s derby at Vale Park, Morris told us: “I’ve known Tom for years and it was a great achievement for him to score 100 goals for Port Vale.

“We know what he can do and what he wants to do but actually stopping it is not easy. Tom is a good player and you can plan all you want but he is very good at what he does.

“He is a good target man and he scores goals. He isn’t going to create too much on his own and he would be the first to admit that he needs quality service.

Alex added: “You have stop the source and stop those crosses coming from wide areas. You won’t stop every cross coming into your box but you can work hard to make sure they don’t end up in dangerous places so Tom’s first touch isn’t an effort at goal. We have to make sure the ball lands where the first contact is not an attempt at our goal.”

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