MIKE’S MIS­SION

Brown bids to re­vive Vale...

The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By John Lyons

PORT Vale suf­fered the pain of rel­e­ga­tion last Sun­day – but Michael Brown is al­ready plan­ning the route back to League One.

The 40-year-old took over as care­taker-man­ager at the tail end of last year fol­low­ing Bruno Ribeiro’s res­ig­na­tion but was un­able to keep the Valiants in the third tier.

Their fate was sealed when a 0-0 draw at high­fly­ing Fleetwood Town last week­end wasn’t enough for them to climb out of the drop zone.

In the days that fol­lowed, ac­tiv­ity has been brisk at Vale Park. Chair­man Nor­man Smurth­waite stepped down af­ter ad­mit­ting he had ‘se­ri­ously dam­aged’ the club with the re­cruit­ment de­ci­sions he made last sum­mer.

He says he will not make any fur­ther com­ment un­til Vale are sold, vow­ing to en­sure the ‘right party pur­chase the club’. On Fri­day, it was re­ported that Burslem-based IT firm Synec­tics So­lu­tions had made an of­fer of £1.25m.

Lifelong Vale fan Tony Fradley has been ap­pointed the new chair­man.

Brown, mean­while, has been con­firmed as per­ma­nent man­ager fol­low­ing his care­taker stint. His tar­get will be to make Vale com­pet­i­tive and fight for an im­me­di­ate re­turn to the third tier, as Don­caster Rovers did this sea­son.

Chal­lenge

How­ever, he ac­knowl­edges it is not go­ing to be straight­for­ward.

The for­mer Manch­ester City and Sh­effield United mid­fielder said: “It's a tough league. We know that and it’s go­ing to be a big chal­lenge.

“Ide­ally, we would have had a core of five or six se­nior pros that you know are go­ing to help you, but we haven't got that. We have one or two, so we have got to re­ally start from scratch.”

And get­ting the squad right, af­ter last year’s for­eign legion failed to im­press in the muck and net­tles of League One, will be cru­cial.

He added: “We need to sign lots of play­ers and we need to put out a state­ment that we are here, that we want to try to gain pro­mo­tion.

“Hope­fully, we can at­tract play­ers who want to take their ca­reers in the same di­rec­tion the club wants to go.”

Mid­fielder Danny Pugh has signed un­til next sum­mer, with the op­tion for it to be ex­tended. The 34year-old joined from Black­pool in Jan­uary. How­ever, de­fender Remie Street, 22, is leav­ing.

“Remie’s con­tract was set to come to an end and he has ex­pressed his de­sire of want­ing to play at the high­est level he can,” said Vale.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

SAD MO­MENT: Michael Brown ap­plauds the Vale fans af­ter the drop was con­firmed

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