Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite looks set to appoint John Askey as his next manager in his latest bid to improve the fortunes of the struggling Valiants.
A report in the Daily Mirror suggests Vale will confirm Askey’s appointment in the next twenty-four hours. Port Vale have been without a manager since Neil Aspin left last week after sixteen months in charge. They have won just one of their previous ten league games and currently sit eighteenth in League Two.
Askey was born in Milton in Stoke-on-Trent and was a trainee at Vale Park before he found success at Macclesfield Town. He made over two hundred appearances for the Silkmen before managing them to the National League title last season, despite having one of the smallest budgets in the league.
This success prompted League One Shrewsbury to come calling for the fifty-four-year-olds services but unfortunately, Askey’s stay in Shropshire was an unsuccessful one, and he lost his job after just five months.
Askey has further links to Vale with his father Colin Askey having played for the club in the 1950s. The Vale legend was a member of the famous team that reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1954, beating the holders, Stanley Matthews Blackpool, in the fifth round, before losing to eventual winners West Brom at Villa Park.
This appointment could be a good one for Vale. Askey won plaudits for his work on a tight budget at Macclesfield and is currently looking to get back into employment following his brief spell at Shrewsbury.
The job will be difficult with an unpopular owner and disaffected fan base who will be worried about Askey’s lack of EFL management experience.
The Valiants are at the wrong end of the table but should have enough to stay up. However, they desperately need to start rebuilding, and if Askey gets the job, he will need to be given support and time by both the supporters and the owner if he is to be successful.