DODDS AND CO GIVE THEIR ALL FOR VALE
LOUIS DODDS doesn’t know where he will be playing his football next season, but the midfielder says there are bigger things to worry about – like Port Vale’s future.
Vale have promotion in their sights as they headed into the weekend having lost just once since being thumped by Wigan 3-0 on January 30.
But, while the team is playing with freedom on the pitch, things couldn’t be more complicated off it, with the club currently up for sale and under tight financial restrictions.
Manager Rob Page has already been warned his playing budget could be cut by a further £800,000 next season, and the players are also feeling the squeeze.
Eight of them paid for their own hotel rooms ahead of last weekend’s comeback victory over Peterborough.
Few will be feeling the club’s plight more than midfielder Dodds who has spent eight years with the Valiants and made more than 300 appearances.
The 29-year-old’s current contract expires in June, but he readily admits the club’s future takes precedent over his own for now.
He said: “For us, it’s is just about winning each game and giving the fans something to cheer about. Everything else is out of our control.
“All we can do is win football matches.We can’t buy or sell the club or decide what happens upstairs.
“It’s well documented that some of the lads paid for their own hotel rooms and I think that speaks volumes about the commitment to achieve the right results and get a good night’s sleep before the match.
“I think you just have to look at the things you can control and go from there. None of the lads will be going and asking for new contracts or anything like that.
“We will just try to win as many matches as we can and then we will go from there.
“This is a great club. I’ve been here for eight years now and would love to stay.
“You do worry about things because there are children and the mortgage to think about.
“But, as a team, we want to win for the fans because they have been incredible to us all season and I think our home form shows that. They deserve success.”
While Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite continues his quest to sell the club, having put it up for sale in December 2014, Page and his players are keeping their heads down.
That was evident last weekend when, after forking out their own money, Vale came from 2-0 down to beat Peterborough, thanks to Dodds’ last-gasp winner.
While promotion is the main prize up for grabs, Dodds knows only too well that a winning team is a far more desirable product for any potential suitors.
“I think it would be unbelievable to get to the play-offs and win promotion this year. It would mean so much to us all,” he added.
“We know that winning matches brings in more revenue and the same with getting promotion, but we haven’t talked about it.
“But anything we can do to help the club is massive because that can bring more stability.
“We are doing it for the club and I know that every three points could be vital.”
LOYAL: Port Vale's Louis Dodds in action, right, against Gary Liddle of Bradford City