John Askey sings praises of Tom Pope after landmark goal



Posted Sunday, November 01, 2020 by PA

John Askey sings praises of Tom Pope after landmark goal

Tom Pope earned praise from Port Vale manager John Askey after scoring the 150th goal of his career in a 2-0 win at winless Southend.

The 35-year-old scored two headers in the second half to secure Vale their third win in the space of eight days.

And Askey feels the striker is in shape to keep on scoring.

“For me he looks fitter this season then he did last and if we keep crossing balls like that he will keep getting goals,” said Askey.

“He did well in his first game back but I think the second came too early for him.

“Theo (Robinson) has come in done well so he’s had to bide his time but that was the best way to respond.”

But Askew – whose side are now fifth in the table – felt Vale should have won by more against the Shrimpers.

“We were comfortable throughout but until you get the goal you’re always a bit nervy thinking they might break away and get a penalty or a lucky shot in,” said Askew.

“But I think that’s as comfortable as we’ve been since I’ve been at the club and it could have been six or seven.”

Vale should have opened the scoring inside the first minute but David Worrall saw his close range header well saved by Mark Oxley.

Tom Conlon then sent an effort against the foot of the left post for the visitors before Pope had a header tipped wide on the stroke of half-time.

But, with 48 minutes on the clock, Pope headed home a deep left wing cross from Worrall at the far post for his landmark goal.

Pope made it 2-0 in the 64th minute as he nodded a right cross from David Amoo into the right hand side of the net and he almost completed his hat-trick late on as he fired against the underside of the crossbar from 10 yards.

Southend never looked like scoring and remain bottom of the table having gone 13 games without a win in all competitions.

And Shrimpers boss Mark Molesley feels his players are now lacking in confidence.

“We need to stand up and be counted,” said Molesley.

“You can see confidence is lacking at the moment and it’s up to us to build them up and give them that.

“There’s no hiding and we have to learn quickly.

“There wasn’t much between the two teams but you have to do the basics right and we’ve come up short.

“The process doesn’t change and we have to keep working hard in everything we do.

“But we have to get over this quickly and prepare for Tuesday night’s game at Bradford now.”

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