Micky Adams: Port Vale manager steps down for a second time

Micky Adams
Micky Adams' side have lost their last six matches in all competitions - his worst run as Port Vale boss

Micky Adams has resigned as Port Vale manager after a run of six straight defeats for the League One side.

Adams, 52, who led the club up from League Two in 2013 - his fourth promotion as a manager - was in his second spell as Vale boss, having first moved to Vale Park in 2009.

"I believe now is the time for another manager to take the helm," he said.

Adams made the decision to step down following "extensive discussions" with chairman Norman Smurthwaite.

Micky's managerial moves
Aug 96-Sep 97: Fulham (player-manager) (won promotion)Apr 99-Oct 01: Brighton (won promotion)June 09-Dec 10: Port Vale
Oct 97: Swansea City (caretaker player-manager)Apr 02-Oct 04: Leicester City (won promotion)Dec 10-Feb 11: Sheffield United
Nov 97-Jul 98: Brentford (player-manager)Jan 05-Jan 07: Coventry CityMay 11-Sept 14: Port Vale (won promotion)
Jan 99: Nottingham Forest (caretaker manager)May 08-Feb 09: Brighton

"I just felt the time was right," the ninth-longest serving manager in English football told BBC Radio Stoke.

"I didn't want to sit there for the rest of the season and stew. Probably the time was right at the end of last season to walk away. I didn't want to take it home with me. I've still got two young children. I want them to enjoy their dad, not to see him as strung out as he has been recently.

"Certain sections of the fans will be happy but I'd like to think a lot would be disappointed. You don't work at a place for five years without caring about a lot of the people involved. And I believe I am leaving the club in a stronger position than when I joined."

Vale had just finished 18th in League Two when Adams succeeded Dean Glover as Vale manager five years ago.

He led them to 10th place in his first season, four points outside the play-offs.

Adams was tempted back to his native South Yorkshire to take charge of Sheffield United in December 2010, but his short tenure at Bramall Lane came to an end in April 2011, after he failed to keep the Blades in the Championship.

He returned to Vale to lead them to promotion in 2012-13, despite the chaos caused by the club starting the season in administration prior to Smurthwaite's takeover.

Last season, Vale finished ninth in League One, after which, following considerable speculation and reports of a rift with Smurthwaite, Adams signed a new one-year rolling contract.

They enjoyed an unbeaten four-game run at the start of this term, but have since slumped to second from bottom, provoking protests from discontented fans.

Port Vale manager Micky Adams on his crutches at Vale Park
In happier times at Vale, Adams even took to his crutches to watch his team after a hip operation in 2013

But, of the six straight defeats in 24 days suffered by Vale, one was to Championship side Cardiff City in the League Cup and three have been to the current League One top three - Chesterfield, Peterborough United and Tuesday night's conquerors Bristol City.

"During his time at the club, Micky helped Port Vale to deliver a positive period in the club's history, including promotion to League One, against a backdrop of instability," said Vale chairman Smurthwaite.

"Although I was not involved with the club when Micky joined five years ago, I don't think anyone should underestimate the contribution he has made, to both on and off-field matters.

"He has been a fantastic figurehead for Port Vale who has helped the club get positive national recognition once again. It's with a heavy heart that I accept his resignation."

BBC Radio Stoke summariser & former Port Vale defender Phil Sproson on Micky Adams' exit
"Micky Adams is a fiery character who is quite forthright in his opinions and wears his heart on his sleeve, just as he did in his playing days. I'm disappointed as I thought he would have stayed on for the fight. He only said himself yesterday that he was 'no quitter'."Vale owe him a lot. He totally galvanised the club when it was on its knees, when the place was falling apart under the previous regime."But, looking at the performance of the past two games, at times it was gutless and you've got to feel for the manager. There were players out there who looked like they're going through the motions. There's no desire to turn things around."

Assistant manager Rob Page, who deputised this time last year when Adams underwent a hip operation, took charge of training on Thursday.

The former Wales international defender, brought to the club by Adams three years ago, has already told BBC Radio Stoke that he would consider taking the job.

"It's a opportunity that's landed on my lap and I'm not going to let it pass me by," he said. "I owe Micky a lot. He gave my chance here. I'll be forever in his debt.

"I've told the players that we all have to look at ourselves. When you see a manager walk away as he feels he can't do any more, it's disappointing.

"The results of late have hurt us all. He's a passionate, proud man. Maybe he thought he's taken the club as far as he can and they weren't responding for him."

'Praise and Grumble' special on BBC Radio Stoke this evening (Thursday 18 September, 18:00-19:00 BST) to discuss Adams' exit.

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