Michael Brown: Port Vale name caretaker boss as manager

Michael Brown
Michael Brown had been Port Vale's caretaker manager since 26 December

Port Vale have appointed caretaker boss Michael Brown as manager, despite their relegation to League Two.

The 40-year-old had been in temporary charge at Vale Park since December 2016, after Bruno Ribeiro resigned.

Vale were relegated to League Two by one point, with a 0-0 draw at Fleetwood on Sunday ending a four-year spell in the third tier.

"It's a step up in my career and a big challenge to build a club fans can be proud of," Brown told BBC Radio Stoke.

Brown, who will be assisted by former Sheffield United team-mates Chris Morgan and David Kelly, has taken full-time control of Vale at a testing time for the club on and off the pitch.

On Tuesday, Norman Smurthwaite stood down as Vale's chairman, saying he had "seriously damaged the club", and was replaced by president Tony Fradley.

That followed their relegation from League One after only managing 49 points in the 2016-17 season.

Michael Brown
Brown had to console his players after Vale's relegation was confirmed at Fleetwood on Sunday

"Everyone connected with the club is still feeling the disappointment from the weekend," the ex-Manchester City and Tottenham midfielder added.

"But my focus now is to assemble a squad capable of getting the club back to League One."

Brown joined Vale as a player in the summer of 2014 and, upon taking caretaker charge of the first team, was told by Smurthwaite that he would be judged on results.

Only five of his 23 league matches at the helm were victories, but Brown has been trusted to take charge for next season and build a new squad in his own image.

"It's going to be difficult to build a new squad, and we have to be very clever in the window, getting in very early to set the tone", said Brown.

"We need more quality, and more stand-alone players who are going to perform week in week out.

"We have a budget that we are confident we can build a team with to take us to the top end of League Two".

Analysis

Lee Blakeman, BBC Radio Stoke's Port Vale commentator

The club have made really good appointments in hiring Michael Brown and the excellent Chris Morgan and Ned Kelly as his assistants.

Brown had been working with one arm behind his back since his appointment in December.

He was dealing with a lot of players signed by Bruno Ribeiro that I don't think he would have signed, and he lost his best goalkeeper, striker and midfielder in the January transfer window.

This is a great opportunity for him to build his own squad, get players' fitness up to scratch, and really challenge in League Two with a properly prepared team behind him.

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