Match Preview: Stirling Uni – League Cup is Vale’s last chance for success

Vale coach Sean Taylor hopes the League Cup can be used as an opportunity to generate some success for the season. He then wants the team to go and strive for improvement next season.

After a topsy-turvy season, Vale ended up finishing 12th in the league. There were some impressive results and good runs of form which showed the ability and potential which exists at the club, but there were also some disappointments and losing streaks which undermined some of the good work.

Reflecting on that, Taylor said: “League positions never lie and that’s the bottom line. We were in a strong position with five games to go to finish top half which would have been a fantastic achievement for the club.

“It just shows how tight a league it is that we’ve finished 12th when we could have ended up top half. We went on winning and losing streaks and we can’t afford to do that next year.

“The League Cup gives the guys one last chance to push for silverware. Stirling came down here a few weeks ago and scored a last minute goal in a very even match. If we turn up on the day we’re as good as anyone in this league.

This was his first season on the staff at Vale after Chris Anderson brought him in to primarily work as a fitness coach. His role has ended up being more wide ranging than that, and he has enjoyed his spell at the club so far.

“It’s been fantastic. I can’t thank the club enough and Chris for giving me the opportunity to come in and work with the guys on a weekly basis.

“It’s been hard at points, being a small club you have things to deal with that sometimes come out of nowhere but as a club we’ve came together and are in a stronger position going into next season than we were last year”, said Taylor.

Along with Chris Anderson, Assistant Manager Keith McLeod and Goalkeeping Coach Mark Beveridge, Taylor recently signed on for a further two years.

After signs of progress in their first year, the 29-year-old revealed there is an ambition to keep on developing.

He added: “I was delighted to sign on for two more years. Chris is a close friend and we share the ambitions so it’s great working with him and the other members of staff. We’ve a unique group of players who work there socks off for me in training and I genuinely believe there is more to come from them.

“With some added additions of quality we can take the club higher without question. Top eight would be a good target but I think we can go further. It’s about getting the momentum early season and finding that consistency.

“Finding consistency is paramount for a strong showing in any league. It’s been a learning curve for some of the players who have come from a lower level or Boys’ Club football and maybe took time to adjust.

“Next year they will be one year older and wiser and we will hopefully see the benefits of that. As a coaching staff we just have to keep helping the guys make the right decisions week after week.”