The 4-0 loss to Mansfield might have brought Port Vale down to earth with a crash, but visiting boss Steve Evans is sure the recent run of good form was no flash in the pan.
Speaking prior to the match, he described Port Vale as “a top ten team” and spoke of Mansfield’s need to go in with it’s A-game in order to come out triumphant.
Unfortunately for Port Vale fans, that is exactly what happened.
A tough prospect
Speaking in pre-match interviews, former Rotherham boss Evans explained how a trip to the Potteries used to be seen around the league as an easy draw, but that Neil Aspin has instilled a new ethos within the team that helps him get the best out of his talent.
He also said that the likes of David Worrall and Tyler Denton can help take The Valiants to the next level.
Gambling odds for coming fixtures
Evans’ comments provide some grains of comfort, but the acid test that fans will be gambling on will be how well Port Vale can bounce back from the defeat. The wide range of football betting and online gambling sites that are around these days, with their complimentary bonus bets and free casino offers have made punters of us all, so what do the form guides say in the wake of the Mansfield mauling?
The defeat has left Vale languishing in 21st place, eight points adrift of 12th placed Carlisle, and bookmakers have now stretched the odds of a top-half finish to 6/1. That could represent a tempting bet among optimists, but there is just too much ground to make up to get much higher, and even the 33/1 now available for a top seven finish does not seem particularly generous.
Of course, much depends on whether Vale can restore some pride and recover a little bit of momentum when they visit Lincoln on Saturday. The hosts are a team in a similar mental condition, but for different reasons. Two weeks ago, they were looking like genuine promotion contenders, and their 4-1 win over Crewe earlier this month was clinical and ruthless. However, back to back losses against Coventry and Colchester have seen them go from serious contenders to mid table tryers in the space of a few days.
After the Lincoln match, there is the small matter of the FA Cup second round, followed by an EFL match, before more mid-table tussles with Cambridge and Carlisle.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This weekend’s fixture will provide some vital insights into just how well Aspin can galvanise the team and how deep they can dig.
The bookmakers have already made their own minds up and are comfortable that the home team will come out on top. Most have Lincoln at even money for the win, and are offering 3/1 on Port Vale. Surely, the upset is worth a pound of anyone’s money? Steve Evans would certainly appear to think so.