Q&A With Port Vale

  • October 28, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/97132

Sam Evans believes Sammy Ameobi is a player who, with a consistent run of games, could be exactly what Port Vale need to push for promotion.

Wanderers, who occupy an automatic promotion spot going into the weekend, play host to play-off chasing Vale on Saturday, looking to equal a club-record run of six wins without conceding - which was set between March and April 1912.

In our latest Q&A, we have got the views of Sam (@samwelo).

Q: Port Vale have enjoyed a fine start under Bruno Ribeiro and go into the weekend just one point outside the play-off places. Since dropping out of the second tier in 2000, Vale have never looked close to a return. Is this the year, or are your expectations a little lower?

A: My expectations were certainly lower coming into the season. The old cliche about players needing to gel most certainly applied with so many players being signed this year. This is particularly true when you see the multitude of nations from which we signed players.

My hope overall was to finish around 10th, keep the squad together and push on next season. However, as we approach the busy Christmas schedule, we have been consistently higher than this.

I would now agree that we have never looked closer to getting into the Championship and I am expecting us to be close to pinching one of the last play-off spots.

Q: A major reason behind your success so far is the form of Alex Jones, who has scored eight goals in 13 appearances since joining on loan from Birmingham City. Is he likely to pose your biggest threat at the Macron, or should Bolton fans be fearful of somebody else?

A: Jones is unfortunately injured at the moment, so the most we can expect from him is an encouraging tweet this weekend.

The man for your fans to look out for is Jerome Thomas. He ran the game last weekend and, in my opinion, looks too good for this league a lot of the time. He draws a lot of fouls with his trickery and puts in a great cross. If we have the quality for someone else to get on the end of that at the moment is yet to be seen in the absence of Jones.

Ryan Taylor was also a big threat on his debut last week, putting in excellent set-piece after set-piece.

Q: Conversely, who would you identify as Wanderers' key player going into the weekend's fixture?

A: I've seen Jay Spearing in the League One Team of the Week more than once. I remember him playing for Liverpool in the Premier League and he certainly didn't look out of place. From the highlights I've seen of Bolton games, he looks to make them tick and chips in with the odd goal too.

Q: The January transfer window isn't too far in the distance and clubs will already be planning their business. If you were able to take any player from our squad, who would it be and why?

A: That's a tough question. Spearing for the reasons highlighted above would be great, but I think he'd be in competition with arguably our best player, Anthony Grant.

I've seen Sammy Ameobi play quite a bit and he has some real quality that he's perhaps not consistently shown yet. I'd be interested to see what he could do with a consistent run of games.

Q: After a positive start was halted with an eight-match winless run, Bolton enter the game in spectacular form - having won their last five in all competitions without conceding a goal. In Phil Parkinson, have we got the right man to halt our slide and secure promotion back to the Championship?

A: Phil Parkinson doesn't convince me. He always seemed to have a large budget and good squad with Bradford, and, in my opinion, they often underperformed.

They had some good cup runs with famous wins against Chelsea, for example, but I expected better in the league. They have everything in place to be in the Championship.

However, at Bolton, so far, he seems to be doing a great job and I would be surprised if Bolton did not go up. So, despite my misgivings, he probably is the man who will secure promotion.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Saturday's game?

A: I'd be very happy if we came away with a point. However, my head says a 2-1 win to Bolton.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Sam for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @samwelo.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>

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Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
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