2017/18 League Two Preview: Michael Brown and Port valeby Mike Holden / 11 July 2017, 16:27Tweet
Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Michael Brown and Port Vale ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.
Michael Brown’s introduction to full-time management has been three years in the making. He combined playing duties with coaching the reserve team when he arrived at Vale Park under Micky Adams and was then promoted to assistant following Bruno Ribeiro's appointment last summer. A miserable campaign followed, with Brown unable to turn the tide after stepping in at Christmas as performances improved but results got worse. Now he gets to build a team in his own image, although resources are limited.
As a player, Brown was a combative midfielder with a defensive mindset, collecting yellow cards like loyalty points. He would never hesitate to cross the line and take out an opponent if necessary, which would imply that he deals in cold facts and logic rather than taking the values and sensitivities of others into account. His comments after relegation would appear to back this up. There was no emotion in his words, just a brutal assessment of what the players lacked.
"It's a tough league, we know that, and it's going to be a big challenge. You look at Portsmouth - people said they would walk it last season, and they didn't. Ideally, we would be coming down with a core of five or six senior pros that you know are going to help you, but we haven't got that. We have one or two, so we really had to start from scratch. There will certainly be a committed group of players. Endeavour and application is for free."
The signals from chief executive Colin Garlick suggest the Valiants will be operating to a budget that is top-half rather than top-end, so it would be unreasonable to expect an immediate promotion challenge of any sort. Stability is the priority after the upheaval of the past 12 months but when Brown is standing shoulder to shoulder with Chris Morgan in the technical area, you can rest assured there will be no lack of effort or physicality. They probably won’t be a nice team to play against.
Prediction: bottom half