Why Clarke refuses to compare Port Vale to Wanderers' side from last season

·3-min read
Why Clarke refuses to compare Port Vale to Wanderers' side from last season
Why Clarke refuses to compare Port Vale to Wanderers' side from last season

Port Vale boss Darrell Clarke has brushed off comparisons between his side and where Wanderers were 12 months ago.

Clarke’s side are hoping to push on from promotion to League One after overcoming Mansfield Town in the play-off final at Wembley.

The Whites clinched promotion from the fourth tier in 2021 and went on to achieve a ninth-place finish last term.

Clarke says Ian Evatt has done “a fantastic” job but says it is not realistic to use Bolton as a model for newly-promoted sides in League One.

“They are a bigger football club than ourselves at the minute. They have more money for players,” he told the club’s YouTube channel.

“We want to try and progress to their level. Ian has done a fantastic job there, but they have been able to do it with good resources.

“It is a big football club, they used to be in the Premier League. We have to do things a little bit differently to them.

“(Do) I look at them as a bit of a model? Probably not the right way of looking at it, but we want to be progressing to those heights.”

Wanderers have now got real strength in depth after bringing in Conor Bradley and Jack Iredale among others over the summer.

“Bolton are a big club with a healthy budget, with healthy players and competition in every area of the pitch,” added Clarke.

“Ian has done that and it is not all about budgets and what not, but he has done that over a period of time.

“To be able to do that, to get better players in a football club, it’s not rocket science. The better players you have, the better you become.

“We do things in a different way. We try and develop our players, we try and do things in a mannered way that is right for this football club.

“The owners have been absolutely outstanding, the amount of work they have done around the club, the place, with me and getting the coaching staff to the standard we need to be heading is important.

“But we are never going to have, in my opinion, the financial resources of a Bolton.”

The Vale chief believes there is “a massive gulf” between League One and League Two and says his side need to find ways of competing against the bigger sides.

“I think the league is split,” the manager explained. “I think there are some real big teams in this league – you’ve got Derby, Bolton, Ipswich, Peterborough, Oxford. Big teams, big budgets.

“There is a massive gulf. It is less so in League Two because there is more of a consistent budget, and I think it is an easier league to get out of than League One, without any stretch of the imagination.

“There is a pretty equal path in League Two – anything over £1million playing budget gives you a chance of getting promotion out of that level because you can get at least 13 or 14 quality League Two players.

“As you get higher up the pyramid, there will be gulfs of £5-6million on playing budgets, which is massive. But is it still 11 men versus 11 men.”