Port Vale wait for news of Pope injury ahead of Bradford City clash (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Port Vale wait for news of Tom Pope injury ahead of Bradford City clash
City nemesis Tom Pope is battling to make their latest reunion at Valley Parade.
Port Vale’s 12-goal top scorer is hoping to overcome a neck strain that he aggravated in Saturday’s goalless draw at Shrewsbury. It forced him off after just 14 minutes.
City will not be too upset if the striker does not recover in time – he has the knack of always scoring against them.
Pope has notched four goals in five games against the Bantams and has never appeared on the losing side.
He has scored the winner in three of those meetings, including last season’s smash-and-grab raid at Valley Parade when he pounced on an error from Gary Jones.
Gavin Tomlin came on at the weekend and stands by to start, although Pope trained yesterday and Vale boss Micky Adams is likely to name an unchanged team for the third game in a row.
Adams said: “If you saw Tom in the first 15 minutes, it wasn’t a blow at all.
“But to be fair to him, he woke up with a stiff neck and the first header he went for, he was caught on the neck and was struggling from then on.
“Bradford is one of the big games in the league. With 12,000 or 13,000 in the ground, we need big, strong people to stand up and be counted.
“We have had some decent results there but having said that, we never take any game for granted.”
Ninth-placed Vale’s point against Shrewsbury was their first in five away games in the league – but they are unbeaten in their last five visits to Valley Parade.