Port Vale’s Tom Pope: “There are definitely goals in this team.”

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Port Vale’s goal scoring burden is usually carried by Tom Pope and he does have four goals to his name this season, but he wants to see more from the team.

As an experienced striker who reached a tally of 19 goals in Sky Bet League Two last season, Pope is keen to ensure that his teammates remain positive in their search for results.

He said: “We would like to be scoring a lot more goals, but I think defensively we have looked a lot more solid in comparison to last season.

“Every team would like to be conceding few goals and scoring loads, but it does not always work like that.

“As strikers you go on decent runs and baron spells throughout the season, it is just about staying positive.”

Neil Aspin’s men failed to find the net as they fell to a home defeat against MK Dons on Tuesday night, but Pope has confidence in his teammates.

Seven Vale players have already appeared on the scoresheet in the 2018/19 campaign, including Idris Kanu who is on loan from Peterborough United.

The 18-year-old popped up with a 97th-minute equaliser against high-flying Exeter City last weekend, and Pope insists the squad is full of capable finishers.

He said: “Idris is a big character and he is a good player who is willing to listen, so if he carries on working hard his chances will come, there is no doubt about that.

“The goal he scored against Exeter will help him no end and I am sure he will score a few more between now and the end of the season.

“If you look at the strikers we have got and the wingers too, Ben Whitfield can come up with some worldie strikes, Luke Hannant has scored a couple already and David Worrall can chip in with a few as well.

“Then you have the likes of Doddsy (Louis Dodds), Iddy (Idris Kanu), Ricky (Miller) and myself so there are definitely goals in the team, it is just about finding that balance of creating chances whilst remaining defensively solid as well.

“I think we are playing some decent stuff at times, but we are probably just lacking that bit of quality in the final third.”

Vale travel to Grimsby Town this Saturday (October 6) in Sky Bet League Two, with kick-off scheduled for 3pm at Blundell Park.

(Tom Pope image courtesy of Gerard Austin)

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