Rob Page: Port Vale boss proud of his players at up-for-sale club

Rob Page's Vale have lost just twice in eight matches since Boxing Day
Rob Page's Port Vale have lost just twice in eight matches since Boxing Day

Port Vale manager Rob Page says he is proud of his players for staying so focused and keeping themselves in League One promotion contention despite being up for sale.

Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite told BBC Radio Stoke on Monday that Vale's playing budget may have to be further reduced by £800,000 next season.

But Page admitted: "I'm proud to be stood there as their manager."

"Irrespective of what's gone on off the pitch they've stayed focused."

Page says that the chairman's words have maybe been ill timed and that it has taken the spotlight off the good things that his players have been doing on the pitch.

'They've given themselves a fighting chance'

But the Vale boss also says that the fighting qualities shown last Sunday to gain a point against his former club Coventry City demonstrated that it has not affected team spirit.

"It's an unwelcome statement that has come out over the last couple of days," he told BBC Radio Stoke. "The players read what's in the press.

"But it's about me now keeping them going forward. They've given themselves a fighting chance with regard to the play-offs.

"It's about not letting it affect them, keeping them nice and positive and keeping the momentum going."

Vale, eighth in League One, entertain struggling Fleetwood on Saturday, when the visitors may be bolstered by Friday's signing of ex-Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi, following his release by Bolton.

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