“There’s nobody better who can play on his own upfront” says defiant Tom Pope

Veteran striker Tom Pope says he doesn’t “expect to play every minute” but in his opinion he “knows how to play the lone striker” role better than anyone else.

Pope has been in defiant mood since scoring twice against Morecambe, after which the striker tweeted about online detractors who had written him off.

Continuing in a similar vein, the Port Vale captain, who has a hundred career Vale goals to his name, told the official Port Vale website that he still has much to offer the side.

In my opinion there’s nobody better that can play on his own up front. I don’t think there’s anybody better out there who knows how to play the lone striker as well as I do…

Pope commented: “I’ve been proving people wrong all my career. I think people can’t wait to tell me I’m past it just so they can say I told you so. I know if the teams playing well then the goals will come.

“With the wingers we’ve got like Dave Amoo, Wozza , Monty , Rhys Browne, if the teams playing well and we’re getting crosses into the box I still don’t believe there’s anybody better to try and get on the end of them.

“People keep saying ‘Tom Pope can’t play on his own up front anymore’, but in my opinion there’s nobody better that can play on his own up front. I don’t think there’s anybody better out there who knows how to play the lone striker as well as I do.”

I don’t expect to play every minute of every game and be the main man, that’s not what I’m about…

However, the striker also recognises the competition for places in the Vale side adding that he had no complaint for finding himself out of the team earlier in the season. Pope added: “If the teams performing you haven’t got a leg to stand on! At the end of the day we’re a team, there’s twenty odd players and it’s not all about me.

“I don’t expect to play every minute of every game and be the main man, that’s not what I’m about. We had it before when Jordan Hugill came in, I got put on the bench and he scored some goals, I don’t mind that.

“Richie Bennett has come in and done really well. I have no argument when you go and beat Forest Green Rovers like we did and perform as well as we did, you have to hold your hands up and say great performance from the lads and I’m the first one to go in there and congratulate them all.”

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