Rob Paste has issued a statement praising the “backbone” of his squad and defending his retained list.
The statement, presumably in response to a lukewarm response to the retained list from fans goes into some detail about Page’s summer plans.
Page defends his decision to keep the “backbone” of his squad and says that his coaching staff will work through the summer to “produce a team and style of football that our supporters will enjoy and support.”
He closes by saying that “the future of Port Vale is in a few select hands and the Chairman, staff, players and I shouldn’t play fast and loose with it.”
This is not the time for massive rebuilding, even if we had the resources to do that…
The statement reads as follows:
“The detail of our planning for next season could not be finalised until we had confirmed our League One status because there were two possible scenarios to consider. Needless to say we are relieved to have stayed up and heartened by the way in which the players fought to achieve that – they didn’t buckle under extreme pressure during the final fixtures.
“The task now is to re-assess where we went wrong, build on what went right and – within the sensible boundaries of our budget – make whatever changes in personnel and playing staff we think necessary to push on in the 2015/16 campaign.
“It is never anyone’s intention to flirt with relegation. We didn’t enjoy it one little bit but there are always extenuating circumstances that are relevant to a final league position. For example, it is not an excuse to suggest that the poor return from the early fixtures had an effect, not only in points lost but also on the morale important in turning things around.
“We had a team of character that overcame that, and a change of manager, and went on to a position of relative comfort. So much so that expectation levels perhaps exceeded what we were capable of because we couldn’t sustain our improvement long enough to stay there.
“Our second dip of the season was therefore understandable but the squad responded tremendously well to arrest it in time. The qualities shown in doing that suggest to me that this is not the time for massive rebuilding, even if we had the resources to do that.
“When I took over I inherited players and staff and, for a variety of reasons, now have the opportunity for the first time of shaping the squad and its philosophy through my own recruitment. That is exciting for me and I have to shape my own destiny by getting it right. Obviously, doing that is mutually beneficial to the club and me.
“I hope to announce the appointment of a new first-team coach by the end of this week and follow that not too shortly afterwards with a new goalkeeping coach. It will then be down to us to work our socks off to implement our ideas and produce a team and style of football that our supporters will enjoy and support.
“There have to be improvements in everything we do but it is not as simple as ‘just score more goals and concede fewer,’ even though they will be the major twin aims. How you achieve them is made up of lots of little details in our play and that is my task in pre-season.
“I have my own ideas on what I want from the team and have identified four or five targets that, if I can land them, will in my view help us. Equally it is essential to retain the backbone of a squad that gave me everything on so many occasions last season and proved they can cope with League One.
“We have developed a working relationship and an ethos that will be invaluable to our newcomers, and it will be refreshing for me to start a new campaign from the same start line as everyone else rather than playing catch-up as I was when appointed.
“The future of Port Vale is in a few select hands and the Chairman, staff, players and I shouldn’t play fast and loose with it. Getting it right is so important that stability and confidence in those around you is massively helpful, and that is what I am trying to build here.”
Robert Page, Manager