Port Vale striker Tom Pope has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for October.
Pope took it upon himself to transform Vale’s dismal start to the season, scoring six and making one of his side’s eight goals in five games. Two trademark headers were complemented by bulldozing runs and finishes as well as close-range strikes.
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin said: “It is an award that Tom fully deserves. He has been excellent not only in his play but also in his work rate. He shows everything that I want in a player with his desire and commitment.”
Pope said: “It’s always good to win these awards but it’s a team game. Football’s about what you win as a team, you can have as many Player of the Month trophies as you want at home, but never have a promotion so it’s great personally, but I’d swap it for a league winners’ medal.
“I just think the whole team improved and supported me a lot better in October. They got the ball out wide and put plenty of crosses in and that’s what I thrive off. I think the team’s performances over the last month have improved and we’ve been able to get a few more chances for me to put away.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Pope’s turnaround in form over the last month has been the catalyst for an upsurge in Port Vale’s results, showing how important he is to the team.
“Pope already has legendary status at the Midlands club, having enjoyed a successful four-year period at the club before a move to Bury and showing this sort of form will only improve his bond with the Valiant faithful.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford said: “Prior to Neil Aspin’s arrival as Port Vale manager, Tom Pope had only found the net once in Sky Bet League Two. His record of six goals in as many games in October has seen the fans favourite lead by example and the confidence shown in him by his new manager and director of football John Rudge is certainly rubbing off on the striker.”
The judging panel for the Sky Bet Player of the Month comprises Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan, League Managers’ Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford.