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Port Vale manager John Askey departs with interim boss put in place

Port Vale manager John Askey departs after nearly two years in charge, the fourth tier club have revealed via their website on Monday evening.

The manager has lost his job after a run of just six points from 12 games as the Vale have fallen out of playoff contention.

They are now just five points above the relegation zone in the League Two table ahead of Saturday’s home game with second-from-bottom Grimsby Town.

The decision brings to an end Askey’s 23 months in charge of the Vale as his initial successful start was undone a dismal run of results.


Port Vale have today parted company / departs with Manager John Askey and Assistant Manager Dave Kevan.

First Team Coach Danny Pugh takes charge of the First Team until further notice.

The Port Vale Board of Directors would like to thank John and Dave for their service to the club and wish them all the best for the future.

Danny Pugh is a former player who had a youth career with Man United, before playing as a pro for the likes of Leeds, Preston, Stoke, Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry, Bury, Blackpool and then ended with Port Vale.


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Askey was brought in by former owner Norman Smurthwaite to keep Vale in the EFL after Neil Aspin resigned at the end of January 2019.

Aspin had managed to keep Vale in the division the previous season but the club was heading for a third straight relegation fight. Askey kept Vale up that season and was rewarded with a three-year contract by new owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan in summer 2019.

Askey then took them to eighth  last season. Vale were on an eight-game unbeaten run and on course for the play-offs when the season was stopped in March and subsequently settled on PPG.

Vale started this season on the up and were in the playoff places, but lost to King’s Lynn in the FA Cup at home before league results form turned bleak.

The 4-0 defeat at Mansfield on Saturday was the last straw.

Now Vale are looking for their sixth manager in under five years.

Asked if he still felt he had more to give and could get through this situation, Askey said: “Yes, I think if it’s a level playing field, I’ve proved in the past I can. But it’s not a level playing field at the moment. I have seen a lot of strange happenings going on but as long as I am manager I will give it everything I have got. If one or two are not fighting then I can assure you I am.” 

Askey had no complaints about the dismissal of Leon Legge with a mistimed tackle, saying: “No, none at all. I thought the first one was reckless, stupid really, there was no need to make the challenge and in the end it ended up costing us.

“It was debatable whether to take him off at half time and put Zak (Mills) on, but within a few minutes he had got himself sent off.

“But again we had good possession of the ball and have contrived to somehow give it away.”

Next up for Port Vale is a home game with second-bottom Grimsby on Saturday.

The manager added: “The first thing is, we have a lot of players who are available to us in that game. That could make all the difference because we have seen, when they are all available, then they are more than capable and there is no reason why we can’t get results. Obviously it has to change really quickly.” 

Fans reacted online as the Port Vale manager departs with an interim boss put in place…

Ben Healey: Theres two ways this could go success or failure the playerd could perform to there ability or still show no passion its down to Pugh to sit them down and tell them all there positions are on the line if they dont peform they get dropped

@MikePea26: Thank you John Askey for steering us away from relegation in 18/19 & for some great memories last season, ironically on this day last year at the Etihad. You go with my best wishes & thanks as you clearly cared for the club throughout. A sad day but writing was on the wall. UTV

@JaneMeloy: It’s sad. A real shame it hasn’t worked out. John seems like a nice bloke. Time to move on though, that felt obvious.

@tom_kenny84: We shouldn’t revel in a man losing his job, but unfortunately it is the correct decision. I thank him for stabilising us when he first came in and making us dream of promotion last year before the season was cut short. I wish him all the best.

@ChrisParkerNo6: Get Ian Holloway in

@pvfc_zack: PLEASE don’t take forever to appoint an EXPERIENCED MANAGER

@AsaPost22: Keep the faith Valiants, it’s done! Heads up for the rest of the season, it’s going to be a fight but one we can survive! UTV

@Adnogal: Sad but nevertheless a necessary move by Carol snd Kev so well done to them. Replacement has at least a chance to stabilise the club and let’s face it he can’t do much worse. Thank you John Askey for your efforts.

@19thCW: He should have gone 6 weeks ago. Never the less he’s done a decent job overall, best of luck John and Dave!

@MarkHeelis: Thanks for your hard work, John. Askey’s role in last season’s promotion push cannot be forgotten, it’s just not happened this season. Unfortunately after Saturdays result/performance it seemed an inevitable outcome, esp with a relegation 6 pointer at the weekend #UTV #pvfc

@Xflattsbantam: @unofficial_vale Good riddance to the man who tried to ruin my sons football career

@callumLtfc: @OfficialPVFC Announce @Joey7Barton

@markwightman82: It had to happen sadly, truth be told it probably should have happened sooner but let’s not forget the job he did last season, from where we were to genuine promotion contenders was an incredible job. For whatever reason it just hasn’t clicked this season #pvfc

@pag_design: Gutted it hasn’t worked out with John. Recent results aside he helped the club a lot. A year ago today we were playing against Man City. Let’s hope we can move forward and improve from here

@Bwfc12341: Is the BWFC job the safest job in world football? I don’t want Evatt sacked, but we are a club with far greater expectations than Vale and find ourselves just one point better off. One wonders, would our manager stay in his role at any other club? AGAIN, I want him to stay put

@TheValiants1876: Thanks for everything John but it was time to go #PVFC

@LastLivingYetii: A year on from the Etihad game, Askey is sacked. Shame it didn’t work out cos he’s a nice bloke, but the change was needed #PVFC

@_alexsteventon: Genuine shame that it didn’t work out but had to be sacked after recent results. Pugh will be in charge for a couple of games and new manager to be unveiled soon. Carol won’t be someone who will settle for an in house permanent replacement. #pvfc

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