PLAYERS ‘UNFIT’ UNDER RIBEIRO
MICHAEL Brown believes there is a simple explanation for the injury crisis currently engulfing Port Vale – the players were not fit enough under former manager Bruno Ribeiro.
Brown replaced Ribeiro in December when the Portuguese coach resigned after a woeful run, and he has struggled to stop their dramatic slide, which has left the club fighting for survival.
In Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Northampton Town, defender Kjell Knops, 29, went down with a groin strain and defender Scott Tanser, 22, a hamstring injury, lengthening their already hefty injury list.
Tanser arrived after Ribeiro’s departure, but Knops signed last summer and caretaker-boss Brown is adamant his predecessor left him a group of unfit players.
“It is very frustrating but we knew the players maybe weren’t in the greatest condition, or as fit as they should be,” he said.
“We have been working on that. We now know we have lots of games thick and fast and we have paid a price.
“We have tried to increase the tempo and the physicality that we play at and be more dynamic, a little bit quicker in our play, but it has cost us.”
WORK: Michael Brown