Richards - Carry On Valiants
Port Vale captain Marc Richards reckons life at Vale Park has been like a Carry On film recently.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 08/03/11 5:22pm
Port Vale captain Marc Richards reckons life at Vale Park has been like a Carry On film recently - but it's not stopping the Valiants making a promotion push.
Talks over Mo Chaudry's proposed takeover drag on while manager Jim Gannon stormed off the team bus on the way to last week's win at Aldershot after a well-documented row with assistant Geoff Horsfield.
The club are set to announce the outcome of an internal investigation of the incident, and some fans made it clear who they are backing, chanting Horsfield's name and that of out-of-favour midfielder Gary Roberts during Saturday's 2-1 win over Macclesfield.
But those events have only served to galvanise the team as Vale have won three of their last four to get their automatic promotion hopes back on track.
Vale are now sixth, just three points off the top three as they visit fifth-placed Shrewsbury on Tuesday night.
"There's so much going on off the field," Richards told skysports.com.
"There's the takeover bid, the new manager coming in, fans turning against him over tactics and player selection, and what happened between Geoff and the manager. So much has gone on since Christmas it's like Carry On Port Vale!
"But we're a close-knit bunch, we're not going to let it affect us and I think we've shown that over the last few weeks because we're still getting results when all this is going on behind the scenes.
"It proves we're not going to let what happened affect our confidence going into games."
Richards was ruled out with a thigh injury just days before Gannon was named as Micky Adams' successor at the start of January.
Vale's top scorer returned for his first start under the ex-Stockport and Motherwell boss at Aldershot and headed home his first goal in three months.
The striker, 28, failed to add to his 15-goal tally at home to Macclesfield on Saturday but was on hand to celebrate Lee Collins' opener in a scene reminiscent of when Jimmy Bullard and his Hull City team-mates mocked Phil Brown's infamous half-time team-talk at Manchester City.
Laugh about it
"I didn't actually see the incident (between Gannon and Horsfield)," said Richards. "I got on the coach a couple of junctions after the manager had got off but obviously I got the low-down from a few of the other lads.
"These things happen in football. Managers, coaches and assistants disagree on things. Football's a passionate game so there's going to be differences in opinion and we all have to learn to live it.
"And I think the lads showed it's not affecting anyone by the celebration we did on Saturday, when we recreated what happened on the coach.
"Me and Lee Collins sat down talking then stood up and started arguing with each other, and then we pretended to pick up some bags and storm off.
"We all thought it'd be a funny thing to do - if you don't laugh about it, you'd cry. It just shows there's a togetherness within the squad. We all want to get promoted and so does the manager so we've got to get on with it."