Manager Rob Page has called Norman Smurthwaite’s comments on potential wage cuts an “unwelcome statement” after praising the Vale players for keeping their focus.
Smurthwaite earned criticism for dampening enthusiasm after Vale’s 1-1 draw with Coventry by proclaiming that if the club remained unsold then there would be major cuts of 40% in next season’s playing budget if he remained in charge.
Page spoke out about the comments telling press at the media day: “It has been an unwelcome statement that’s come out over the last couple of days. It is about me now keeping the lads focused. They will obviously read what’s been put in the press, it is about me keeping them focused and not letting it affect them in a negative way.
“There are so many positives to come out of Sunday’s game and my job this week is to make sure they stay nice and positive and focused and build on what we did on Sunday. With the help of the supporters, let’s keep this momentum going.
“We have put ourselves into a great position going into the last part of the season so let’s have a go.”
“It’s an unwelcome problem to have, we don’t need it at this stage of the season. If there are any contract negotiations to be done or said then I will have that in the privacy of my office between myself and the player. That is how I have always worked so that is never going to change.
“But credit to the players in that changing room, with everything that’s been going on, the uncertainty of the football club and the club for sale. Okay some games have not been the best performances but everyone is entitled to their off day. In the main I have been really pleased with them and proud to be manager of that group of players.”