Port Vale defender Leon Legge has said “there’s only so much a manager can do” after Neil Aspin received criticism following the heavy defeat to Lincoln City.
We’re the ones out there on the pitch – there’s only so much a manager can do…
The Valiants were outclassed on Saturday when promotion favourites Lincoln City found the target six times including an almost unbelievable five goals resulting from set-pieces. The result was met with disbelief by Valiants supporters with many of them calling for the head of manager Neil Aspin.
Following the match, Aspin was scathing in his assessement of his players’ performances saying: “On the scale of things, you couldn’t get a more disastrous afternoon than the one we’ve had today. You can’t stand here as manager and say anything positive after that.To concede early in the game and to let in five goals from set pieces is frustrating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before in a game at any level.
“Considering all of the work we’ve done during the week and the fact we had height in the team to combat that, it’s just unacceptable the way we’ve defended. It’s very hard to speak following the game and it will take some time to get over it. I’ve been in football since I was 16 and I can’t think of a day where I’ve felt worse than this – watching from the touchline was torture.”
Since the home draw with Exeter City toward the end of last month, the Valiants are yet to pick up a point in the league in October, following defeats to MK Dons, Grimsby Town and now league leaders Lincoln City.
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Summer signing Legge scored an own-goal in the 6-2 loss and following the game he told the media he believes it is now time for the players to start taking responsibility for their performances
Legge told the assembled media: “We’re the ones out there on the pitch – there’s only so much a manager can do. Once we cross that white line it’s down to the eleven that are on the pitch.
“The last couple of games we’ve conceded in the first couple of minutes which hasn’t helped us. We have to sort that out – we have to start well.”
The central defender has also appealed to Port Vale fans for their support adding: “We just need the backing. I’ve had this conversation a load of times with a few people and I don’t think the fans realise how much of an influence they can have on the game.
“I can see how passionate the Vale fans are and when it’s buzzing at home or you get a chance, it can be very loud within the stadium. It really does help and that’s what we need right now.”
Vale’s next game is a Checkatrade Trophy clash with the Middlesbrough U21 side on Tuesday evening while they resume their Football League campaign on Saturday with an away match against Oldham Athletic. The manager, players and Port Vale supporters will all be desperate for the team to reverse their run of poor form sooner rather than later.
Watch the entire interview below: